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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 8961709, 7 pages
Research Article

Balneotherapy Together with a Psychoeducation Program for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: A Feasibility Study

1Service Hospitalo Universitaire de Santé Mentale et de Thérapeutique, Université Paris Descartes, Centre Hospitalier Sainte Anne, Paris, France
2INSERM UMR 894, PRES Sorbonne Centre de Psychiatrie et Neurosciences, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
3Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Processus de Santé (EA 4057), Institut de Psychologie, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
4Institute of Public Health, Epidemiology and Development “ISPED”, Bordeaux University, Bordeaux, France
5Le Manoir Clinic, 09400 Ussat les Bains, France
6APHP, Département de Psychiatrie et de Médecine Addictologique, Hôpital Fernand Vidal, Paris, France
7Saujon Clinic, BP 30, 17600 Saujon, France

Received 23 July 2016; Accepted 11 October 2016

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Morgia

Copyright © 2016 P. De Maricourt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Benzodiazepines should be prescribed on a short-term basis, but a significant proportion of patients (%) use them for more than 6 months, constituting a serious public health issue. Indeed, few strategies are effective in helping patients to discontinue long-term benzodiazepine treatments. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and the impact of a program including cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoeducation, and balneotherapy in a spa resort to facilitate long-term discontinuation of benzodiazepines. We conducted a prospective multicentre cohort study. Patients with long-term benzodiazepine use were recruited with the aim of anxiolytic withdrawal by means of a psychoeducational program and daily balneotherapy during 3 weeks. The primary efficacy outcome measure was benzodiazepine use 6 months after the program, compared to use at baseline. A total of 70 subjects were enrolled. At 6 months, overall benzodiazepine intake had decreased by 75.3%, with 41.4% of patients completely stopping benzodiazepine use. The results also suggest a significantly greater improvement in anxiety and depression symptoms among patients who discontinued benzodiazepines compared to patients who only reduced their use. Our findings suggest that balneotherapy in association with a psychoeducative program is efficient in subjects with benzodiazepine addiction.