Buckeye Scientists Studied Effectiveness of Gratitude Practice on Anxiety and Depression

Scientists at the Ohio State University have analyzed the data from twenty seven different studies that all looked at the effectiveness of “gratitude intervention” for treating anxiety and depression. While the researchers think that practicing gratitude is beneficial it has “limited” clinical effects on depression and anxiety.

While different kinds of gratitude practice have been a part of all kinds of professional therapies to suggestions made second-rate self-help books the fact may be that in treating clinical depression and anxiety it just isn’t that effective.

There are two very popular practices. One is called “three good things.” In this exercise one writes down three good things that happened to them that day and reflects on them. The second is a known as a “gratitude visit” in which one writes a leader to someone they know thanking them for the value they add to their life.

Many of the studies did comparative work between a gratitude practice activity and another activity with a dissimilar topic. As an example, a study might have had a college student write about their class schedule instead of a gratitude activity.

In these types of studies, it was found that gratitude practice had not much more success at relieving people’s symptoms than any other kind apparently unrelated activity.

Researchers stated that, perhaps unsurprisingly, just telling people to be more grateful for what they have when it comes to helping their depression and anxiety symptoms isn’t all that useful.


First Ever WonderBus Festival to Benefit Depression Research at Wexner Center.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health is to be benefited by a new music festival.

WonderBus, the inaugural charity festival, will take place August seventeenth and eighteenth on the beautiful lawn of the American Chemical Society (CAS). CAS is donating use of their lawn which is across from the OSU campus and has formerly hosted the event Picnic with the Pops.

The line-up for the first year of WonderBus include Ben Harper, Innocent Criminals, X Ambassadors, Bishop Briggs and the Cincinnati-based Walk the Moon among more than a dozen other bands.

The Elevation Group organized the concert and are know for their efforts creating the similar LaureLive festival in Cleveland, OH. Festival organizers and CAS have committed to an donating an undisclosed share of the profits to the Wexner center to help fight depression.

OSU Led Survey Finds Depression Among Nurses Increases Likelihood of Errors

Depression is common among nurses and is linked to a higher likelihood they’ll make medical errors, new research suggests.

The study found that more than half of nurses who took part in a national survey reported sub-optimal physical and mental health. Nurses in poorer health had a 26 to 71 percent higher likelihood of reporting medical errors than did their healthier peers. Depression stood out as a major concern among the 1,790 U.S. nurses who responded to the survey, and as the key predictor of medical errors.

The study, which appears online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, also found that nurses who perceived their workplace as conducive to wellness were more likely to report good health.

The National Academy of Medicine has prioritized clinician well-being in its recently launched action collaborative, acknowledging that burnout, compassion fatigue, depression and poor work-life balance affect a large percentage of doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

The new research is the first large-scale national study to link nurses’ well-being to self-reported medical errors, limiting long shifts and providing easy-to-access, evidence-based resources for physical and mental health, including depression screenings, could go a long way toward improving nurses’ wellness and decreasing the chances that mistakes will be made.

The data came from a survey conducted by the American Academy of Nursing’s million hearts sub-committee of the health behavior expert panel. The survey included 53 questions and was offered through nursing organizations and 20 U.S. hospitals. Only responses from nurses who were in clinical practice were included in the study. The majority of participants were white women and the average age of participants was 44, which closely resembles the demographics of the nursing workforce nationwide.

Ohio State Researchers Help Teens With Weight and Depression

A ground breaking high school health program assisted high school students in maintaining healthier weights and even helped relieve severe depression for a full year after the program ended. The research behind the program was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institutes of Health.

Dean of the Ohio State University College of Nursing was lead author of the study. COPE (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) Healthy Lifestyles TEEN (Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition) teaches adolescents that how they think is directly related to how they feel and behave. It also teaches them how to turn negative beliefs triggered by “activating events” into positive beliefs so that they feel emotionally better and engage in healthy behaviors.

Researchers found that 12 months after completing the COPEHealthy Lifestyles TEEN Program, students had markedly lower body mass index than students who received a more standard health curriculum. Additionally, COPE teens who began the program with extremely elevated depression had symptoms in the normal range after 12 months.

The study appears in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of School Health.

Jody Victor

Challenging One’s Point of View the New Depression Cure?

Ohio State researchers have been examining the use of Socratic questioning as part of a cognitive therapy approach to help relieve patients of depression symptoms. Socratic questioning, as it is used in cognitive therapy, is a series of guided questions in which the therapist asks a patient to examine their old outlooks on themselves and their place on the world and to consider a new perspective.

“People with depression can get stuck in a negative way of thinking,” said Justin Braun, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in psychology at The Ohio State University.
This guided Socratic questioning allows patients to examine whether or not their negative thoughts are valid and gain a more realistic and expanded perspective of their life.

Cognitive therapy is an evidence-based treatment that helps patients to reduce their depression and protects against future depressive episodes.

The study appeared in a recent issue of the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy.

The study involved 55 patients who completed a questionnaire at the beginning of each session that measured their depressive symptoms. Researchers analyzed video recordings of the first three sessions and measured how often the therapist used Socratic questioning techniques during cognitive therapy

Sessions in which therapists used more Socratic questioning tended to be followed by greater improvements in patients’ depressive symptoms.