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Macular degeneration patients benefit from self-management training

f the behaviors to be changed, was provided in an enjoyable and stimulating manner." The program also teaches exercises specially designed for AMD patients to build confidence in their physical abilities.

Even after six months, the data indicate that this relatively simple intervention may protect against depression that often occurs in AMD patients, and improves the AMD patients' function, self-efficacy and emotional status, compared with the control patients in the two other groups.

"The most important feature of the study is that it achieved maintenance of benefits at 6-months. This is unusual. The biggest problem in the behavioral intervention literature is maintenance of benefit over time," said Robert M. Kaplan, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Health Services at the UCLA School of Public Health.

Brown and Brody hope to see such programs offered more widely to AMD patients, especially as this disease becomes more common.

"We believe that the combined effects interrupted the overwhelming sense of loss and empowered participants to feel less helpless and more hopefulbased on new information and new skills to achieve small and then bigger successes that fostered engagement in personally meaningful activities," they conclude.


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Contact: Eileen Callahan
ecallahan@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
10-Jan-2005


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