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By Laurence E. Burns

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Extra resources for Behaviour Therapy in the 1970s. A Collection of Original Papers

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A patient suffering from urinary frequency was successfully treated by measuring and displaying the level of bladder pressure in order to associate urinary urges with the corresponding observable increase in pressure reading. It was demonstrated that artificially produced false increases in the reading resulted in subjective urinary urges, and conversely that the fluid content of the bladder could be increased without subjective discomfort if the pressure reading was kept falsely low. The relevant Russian experiments on the control of physiological functions by conditioning procedures have been usefully summarized by Razran (1961), whose review includes a study showing the use of feedback in modifying pulse-volume responses to shock.

Slightly Improved. Some changes have occurred as a direct result of treatment which makes further change likely at a later date, though progress is not being made at the present time. No Change. No change has resulted which is likely to affect sexual behaviour in the future. The ratings were distributed as follows:— Much improved Improved Slightly improved No change Aversion 1 4 3 7 Desensitization 2 3 6 4 It will be seen that although the major change occurs fairly equally between the two groups there is a greater incidence of 32 BEHAVIOUR THERAPY slight improvement in the desensitization group and of no improvement in the aversion group, and this pattern was also found in subjective ratings for changes in well-being and interpersonal relationships.

Before reaching that conclusion, however, the similarity of outcome in the two groups should be looked at in a different way. So far the similarity has been based on changes in certain behavioural ratings which only consider one aspect of clinical improvement. Such an aspect could miss more subtle indicators of improvement or prognosis. An additional assessment based on clinical judgement of the quality of improvement and likelihood of further improvement was made. Although this was a very subjective assessment which is of limited value, it does provide some additional clinical information.

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