Group coping skills training for anxiety and depression: its application with chronic patients


  • Clive G. Long BA MSc DipCrim DipPsych ABPsS

    1. Consultant Psychologist, St Andrew's Hospital, Billing Road, Northampton NNl 5DG and Patricia Bluteau RMN CIFC Sister, Mental Health Unit, Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry
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The literature on group coping skills training is reviewed and a model involving the use of a wide range of coping strategies with patients heterogeneous in terms of presenting problem is advocated. This study evaluates the effect of such an approach with a chronic inpatient and day-hospital patient population (n=36) presenting with problems of anxiety and depression. Results suggest that the use of such groups can facilitate the transition from hospital to community. Further they are associated with symptomatic improvement that is of clinical significance in up to 50% of cases, which is largely maintained at 1 year follow-up and which is associated with a positive change in social functioning. In the light of this experience suggestions are made regarding the screening of patients and ways of enhancing group cohesion.