A desktop study to determine the effectiveness of complementary therapies in relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This review has considered the effectiveness of complementary therapies in relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This included consideration of aromatherapy massage, acupuncture, acupressure, energy based and mind-body interventions. The study also touched upon adverse effects of CAM and conventional medication, and knowledge and attitudes of health professionals. The rationale involves insufficient valid research on the topic. Additionally, mental illness in the UK accounts for the largest burden of disease, affecting one in four individuals each year. Many, particularly disadvantaged individuals, do not receive conventional treatment. Moreover, psychotropic drugs have numerous side effects, withdrawal symptoms, high relapse rate, only temporarily mask symptoms and do not work for everyone. Evidently, there is an increasing demand for research into the efficacy of alternative treatments. This desktop study utilised secondary analysis. Ethical approval was obtained and methodology deliberated. The primary search engine used was CINAHL with Boolean/Phrase mode. The study followed an interpretivist stance and employed 'multiple methods' to achieve a holistic approach. Five primary research studies were selected for appraisal utilising Thematic Analysis and validity criteria. This research concluded that each of the complementary therapies of focus were generally found to produce vast therapeutic effects in the treatment of anxiety and depression. A holistic approach to psychiatric treatment appears most effective given the multi-dimensional nature of mental health. CAM proved particularly beneficial for treating psychological distress in perinatal mothers and chronic illness. The literature demonstrates significant implications for future research examining CAM's role in mental health treatment, with the objective of medical regulation. This paper emphasised the significance of the therapist-patient relationship in CAM and suggest that both should be treated equally. Furthermore, additional education and training of clinicians is required to efficiently manage potential interactions and be able to give valid guidance to patients concerning CAM.
BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care
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