Effects of progressive muscle relaxation training on anxiety and depression in patients enrolled in an outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program

Sermsak Lolak, Gerilynn L. Connors, Michael J. Sheridan, Thomas N. Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: This prospective, randomized controlled trial examined the effect of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) training on anxiety and depression in patients with chronic breathing disorders receiving pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Methods: Eighty-three subjects with chronic breathing disorders entering the 8-week PR program were randomly assigned to a standard care or intervention group. The standard program included 2 days per week of exercise, education and psychosocial support delivered by a multidisciplinary team. The intervention group received additional sessions of PMR training using a prerecorded tape for 25 min/week during weeks 2-8. Primary outcome measures were levels of anxiety and depression evaluated by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results: For anxiety, there was an overall significant improvement within each group over time (p < 0.0001). There was no statistically significant group-time interaction (p = 0.17) and no statistically significant difference between the groups (p = 0.22), despite lower scores for every time point in the PMR group. For depression, there was an overall significant improvement within each group over time (p < 0.0001). Although the difference between the groups (p = 0.09) and group-time interaction (p = 0.07) did not reach statistical significance, the results again favored the PMR group for weeks 5-8. Depression scores were lower for the PMR throughout weeks 1-8. Conclusions: PR is effective in reducing anxiety and depressive level in chronic lung patients. Our findings suggest that adding structured PMR training to a well-established PR program may not confer additional benefit in the further reduction of anxiety and depression in patients receiving PR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalPsychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Depression
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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