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Effects of psychological interventions on systemic levels of inflammatory biomarkers in humans: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3998-1494
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2018 (English)In: Brain, behavior, and immunity, ISSN 0889-1591, E-ISSN 1090-2139, Vol. 74, p. 68-78Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present investigation was to systematically review randomized controlled trials examining the effects of psychological interventions on inflammatory biomarkers in adult populations and to quantitatively analyze those effects by meta-analysis. Two researchers independently searched key electronic databases, selected eligible publications, extracted data, and evaluated methodological quality. Nineteen randomized controlled trials examining a total of 1510 participants were included. The overall combined effect size from pre to post psychological intervention on pro-inflammatory biomarker levels was statistically significant, showing an attenuating effect, although of a small magnitude (s’ g = 0.15, p = .008, CI [0.04–0.26]). However, this effect was not maintained into the follow-up period (g < −0.01, p = .964, CI [−0.19–0.18]). Looking at the individual biomarkers assessed across studies, only C-reactive protein (CRP) was found to significantly decrease following psychological intervention. A number of moderation analyses were conducted, none of which reached statistical significance. However, the numerically largest – and significant – within-group effect size was obtained for the group of studies that had preselected participants based on elevated psychological distress (g = 0.29, p = .047). In conclusion, psychological interventions appear efficacious in reducing pro-inflammatory biomarker levels. Future studies are recommended to carefully select individuals based on inflammatory (e.g., the presence of low-grade inflammation) and/or psychological (e.g., psychological distress) criteria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 74, p. 68-78
Keywords [en]
Inflammation, Psychotherapy, Cancer, Depression, CRP, Cytokines
National Category
Immunology in the medical area Psychiatry Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-165350DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2018.04.005ISI: 000454187500009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-165350DiVA, id: diva2:1282707
Available from: 2019-01-25 Created: 2019-01-25 Last updated: 2019-02-04Bibliographically approved

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