Acceptability and effectiveness of CBT and psychologically based interventions for emergency department attenders with medical complaints: a systematic literature review

Sally Mcguire, Mashal Hajar Safi , Jo Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

This systematic literature review surveyed the evidence for the acceptability and effectiveness of CBT and psychologically based interventions for emergency department (ED) attenders with physical health complaints as their primary concern, in light of over-burdened EDs and the existing evidence base for psychological interventions in other medical settings. The review protocol was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO; CRD42018087860). A systematic search of three databases (APAPsychNet, Cochrane and PubMed) was performed to identify psychological treatment studies targeting physical health problems presenting in the ED, with broad inclusion criteria to capture a coherent understanding of the current knowledge base. A total of 2606 potential studies for inclusion were identified; 45 proceeded to full review. Twenty papers met the full inclusion. Included studies covered four clinical areas: trauma/PTSD-prevention, panic attacks, non-cardiac chest-pain and miscellaneous. A narrative description of findings reflected positive outcomes across all groups, but this was not consistent across any group. Few studies measured ED attendance (20%) or satisfaction/acceptability (10%). The majority of studies (90%) were underpinned by a cognitive behavioural framework, consistent with the current evidence base as applied to the management of medical conditions. Findings suggest there is some evidence that interventions in the ED are effective and acceptable to patients, but interpretation of findings is limited by the mixed quality of designs and risk of bias.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51
JournalThe Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
Volume15
Early online date1 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • CBT
  • accident and emergency
  • emergency department
  • psychological interventions
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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