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Psychological Interventions for People with Huntington's Disease: A Call to Arms

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/10/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Huntington's disease
Issue number3
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)231-243
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Although Huntington's disease (HD) can cause a wide range of psychological difficulties, no review has ever been carried out on the range of psychological interventions adopted with this population. Objective: To scope the literature on psychological interventions for psychological difficulties in people affected by HD. Methods: A systematic scoping review was performed across MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Academic Search Ultimate, and Cochrane Library up to 1 March 2020. Results: From an initial return of 1579 citations, a total of nine papers were considered eligible for review. These included a qualitative investigation, three case studies, two case series, two uncontrolled pretest-posttest designs, and only one randomised control trial (RCT). Despite the wide range of psychological difficulties which can be experienced by people affected by the HD gene expansion, the adopted interventions only accounted for five main psychological outcomes (anxiety, apathy, depression, irritability, and coping). Further discussion and suggestions for future research are provided for each outcome. Conclusion: The current literature on psychological interventions in people affected by HD is extremely limited both in terms of methods and addressed clinical outcomes. Consequently, no conclusions can be offered yet as to which psychological therapy may help this population. As further more comprehensive research is urgently needed for this group, the ultimate aim of the present review is to act as a call to arms for HD researchers worldwide to help shed light on the most effective way to translate psychological theory into practice for the benefit of people affected by HD.