In exploring the mind-body link that is particularly relevant during the current pandemic, an analysis of 56 randomized clinical studies found that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and similar approaches reduced inflammation and enhanced immunity in subjects, reports JAMA Psychiatry
. University of California, Davis, researchers reviewed studies that included 4,060 participants undergoing behavior therapy (which seeks to help patients understand and change problematic behaviors), cognitive therapy (which teaches patients how to change negative thoughts or mindset), CBT (that combines elements of both), bereavement or supportive therapy, psychoeducation and other therapies such as stress management. Those that received these psychosocial interventions experienced a 14.7 percent increase in positive immune outcomes such as lower viral load and an 18 percent decrease in negative outcomes, including proinflammatory cytokines, compared with those not receiving therapy. The immunity improvements were strongest among patients that received CBT or multiple interventions.