Hyperbaric oxygen improves anxiety, nerve function after incomplete spinal cord injury
Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) improves nerve function, daily function, depression and anxiety in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (ISCI), a recent study has shown.
Investigators divided 60 patients receiving rehabilitative treatments into three: those who received HBO (n=20), those who received psychotherapy (n=20) and controls who received conventional rehabilitation (n=20).
All patients received medications to improve circulation and promote nerve repair. Those in the psychotherapy group received additional supportive cognitive behavioural therapy. Those in the HBO group received HBO once a day for 6 days a week.
Over 8 weeks, patients in both psychotherapy and HBO groups scored significantly lower in the Hamilton Depression scale (HAMD) compared with controls (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in HAMD scores between the HBO and psychotherapy groups.
Similarly, Hamilton Anxiety (HAMA) scores were significantly lower in both HBO and psychotherapy groups compared with the control group (p<0.05). There was also no significant difference in HAMA scores between HBO and psychotherapy groups.
After the 8-week programme, scores in the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scales were significantly higher in the HBO group than in the psychotherapy and control group (p<0.05).
ASIA and FIM scores were significantly higher in the psychotherapy group than in controls (p<0.05).
“HBO can significantly relieve depression and anxiety, and improve physical function and [activities of daily living) in the patients with ISCI,” said researchers.
“However, we did not calculate sample size because the sample was small, and follow-up only lasted 8 weeks in this study. Therefore, it is necessary to collect more samples and prolong follow-up time,” they added.