Publications by authors named "Georgios Karanassios"

2 Publications

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The Effects of a 3-Week Heartbeat Perception Training on Interoceptive Abilities.

Front Neurosci 2022 9;16:838055. Epub 2022 May 9.

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Faculty of Engineering, Computer Science and Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Recent studies showed promising short-term effects of heartbeat perception training on interoceptive abilities. Research on the effects of heartbeat perception training on interoceptive abilities over time is sparse. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the short-term effects and the effects of a 3-week heartbeat perception training over time on interoceptive abilities, namely, cardiac interoceptive accuracy (IAc) and interoceptive sensibility (IS). A total of 40 healthy participants were randomized to the intervention group ( = 20) or the control group ( = 20). The intervention group conducted three cardiac biofeedback sessions (one per week) at the laboratory, whereas the control group watched a documentary instead. Interoceptive abilities were assessed the heartbeat perception task (IAc) and confidence ratings (IS) at baseline, after each laboratory session, and 1 week after the last session (post-measurement). IAc was significantly increased in the intervention group compared to the control group after the first training session (short-term effect). There were no significant improvements in IS due to the first session, and neither on IAc nor IS over time. Descriptive trends of improved interoceptive abilities over time were found in both groups. Single session of heartbeat perception training seems to be a promising approach to improve IAc. Future research should further investigate the long-term effects of diverse heartbeat perception training varying in frequency and intensity of the training sessions in diverse samples aiming to improve interoceptive abilities.
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May 2022

The Effects of a Standardized Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and an Additional Mindfulness-Based Training on Interoceptive Abilities in a Depressed Cohort.

Brain Sci 2021 Oct 15;11(10). Epub 2021 Oct 15.

Clinical and Health Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, 89069 Ulm, Germany.

Background: Interoceptive accuracy and sensibility are decreased in depressive samples. However, different studies showed that cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness interventions are promising approaches to improve interoceptive abilities. Based on these findings, the study aims to investigate the pre-post effect of CBT in a depressive sample. Additionally, we examined the effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) training in the context of CBT.

Methods: Sixty depressive patients were investigated over four weeks, with two conditions-CBT vs. CBT + MBSR. Further, the changes in interoceptive abilities (interoceptive accuracy and sensibility) of the depressive patients were compared to baseline data of healthy controls.

Results: The depressive patients showed significantly higher levels of depression and lower mindfulness and interoceptive abilities than healthy controls. The depressive sample showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms and increased mindfulness and interoceptive abilities after CBT. Lastly, depressive patients of the CBT + MBSR condition did not differ from those who only received CBT in the levels of depression, mindfulness or interoceptive abilities over the time course.

Discussion: This study demonstrates a positive effect of CBT on interoceptive abilities in a depressive sample. It is shown that the depressive sample did not profit from additional mindfulness training. It can be concluded that CBT is an efficient treatment, resulting in increased interoceptive abilities. Unexpectedly, the combination of CBT and MBSR has no additional effect on these changes. Future studies should investigate the effect of MBSR as a stand-alone therapy.
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October 2021