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CBT for Heart Disease Treatment
The newest research suggests the most effective treatment for cardiovascular disease involves an emotional and behavioral component, in addition to the traditional physical intervention. Some of the most important risk factors for heart disease involve behavior change, stress reduction, and learning to think about things differently. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been well researched as the most effective psychological treatment for cardiac disease. In 2010, a large-scale study of cardiac patients revealed a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular mortality in individuals who met several of the following conditions: quitting smoking, losing weight to achieve a normal body mass index, exercising regularly, eating healthfully. CBT has been shown to be highly effective in all of these areas.
Unfortunately, changing long-standing habits can be difficult. Common difficulties people with heart disease encounter often include limited motivation, limited time and resources, reduced confidence from prior attempts at change, stress, emotions, minimal support, and only a vague plan about how to proceed. CBT has consistently been shown to be beneficial in improving cardiac outcomes by targeting these obstacles to change, and enhancing compliance with medication and dietary/exercise recommendations.
CBT Patients learn new ways of relaxing and coping to improve heart health. Techniques include strategies that facilitate behavior change, improve emotional coping strategies, minimize stress and change problematic thinking patterns.
CBT for Cardiovascular Disease can involve the following treatment targets:
- Behavioral strategies to increase relaxation and reduce blood pressure.
- Anxiety reduction before surgery to improve surgical outcome.
- Behavioral interventions to reduce obstacles to increasing healthy lifestyle changes.
- Stress and anger reduction skills to reduce damage to heart chronic stress and anger can cause.
- Acceptance strategies to ease lifestyle changes and minimize the disruption they may cause.
- Smoking cessation strategies.
- Diet management strategies.
- Remove obstacles to increasing exercise.
- Sustainable weight loss intervention.
Click for more information about What CBT is and How it Works