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IMAGE: Of all the groups that try to quit smoking, it seems hardest for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. University of Houston psychology doctoral student Brooke Kauffman is targeting… view more 

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Of all the groups that try to quit smoking, it seems hardest for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. The health effects are jarring: People with mental illness or substance use disorders die about five years earlier than those without these disorders and many of those deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s why University of Houston psychology doctoral student Brooke Kauffman is targeting that group, creating personalized feedback to help them quit smoking. She’s assisted in her efforts by $104,064 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

To address smoking among those who suffer anxiety and depression, Kauffman is examining distress tolerance, the skills needed to help tolerate physical and psychological distress. Although there has been progress in targeting distress tolerance to decrease risk for emotional disorders and facilitate success in quitting smoking, no targeted efforts have focused on addressing distress tolerance in earlier phases of the quit process like in the motivation period or in

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