therapy
1. The treatment of disease or disorder by any method. SEE ALSO: therapeutics. 2. In psychiatry, and clinical psychology, a short term for psychotherapy. SEE ALSO: psychotherapy, psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis. SYN: therapeusis (2), therapia (1). [G. therapeia, medical treatment]
- analytic t. short term for psychoanalytic t..
- anticoagulant t. the use of anticoagulant drugs to reduce or prevent intravascular or intracardiac clotting.
- antisense t. use of antisense DNA for the inhibition of transcription or translation of a specific gene or gene product for therapeutic purposes.
- autoserum t. t. with serum obtained from the patient's own blood.
- aversion t. a form of behavior t. that pairs an unpleasant stimulus with undesirable behavior(s) so that the patient learns to avoid the latter. SEE ALSO: aversive training.
- behavior t. an offshoot of psychotherapy involving the use of procedures and techniques associated with research in the fields of conditioning and learning for the treatment of a variety of psychologic conditions; distinguished from psychotherapy because specific symptoms ( e.g., phobia, enuresis, high blood pressure) are selected as the target for change, planned interventions or remedial steps to extinguish or modify these symptoms are then employed, and the progress of changes is continuously and quantitatively monitored. See systematic desensitization. SYN: conditioning t..
- client-centered t. a system of nondirective psychotherapy based on the assumption that the client (patient) both has the internal resources to improve and is in the best position to resolve his or her own personality dysfunction, provided that the therapist can establish a permissive, accepting, and genuine atmosphere in which the client feels free to discuss problems and to obtain insight into them in order to achieve self-actualization.
- cognitive t. any of a variety of techniques in psychotherapy that utilizes guided self-discovery, imaging, self-instruction, symbolic modeling, and related forms of explicitly elicited cognitions as the principal mode of treatment.
- collapse t. the surgical treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis whereby the diseased lung is placed, totally or partially, temporarily or permanently, in a nonfunctional respiratory state of retraction and immobilization. Now rarely performed.
- conditioning t. SYN: behavior t..
- conjoint t. a type of t. in which a therapist sees the two spouses, or parent and child, or other partners together in joint sessions.
- convulsive t. SYN: electroshock t..
- cytoreductive t. t. with the intention of reducing the number of cells in a lesion, usually a malignancy.
- depot t. injection of a drug together with a substance that slows the release and prolongs the action of the drug.
- diathermic t. treatment of various lesions by diathermy.
- electroshock t. (ECT) a form of treatment of mental disorders in which convulsions are produced by the passage of an electric current through the brain. SYN: convulsive t., electroconvulsive t..
- electrotherapeutic sleep t. treatment by inducing sleep by means of nonconvulsive electric stimulation of the brain.
- estrogen replacement t. administration of sex hormones to women after menopause or oophorectomy. SYN: hormone replacement t..Administration of estrogen after natural or surgical menopause reverses atrophic vaginitis, relieves vasomotor instability (“hot flashes”), lowers LDL cholesterol, raises HDL cholesterol, reduces the risk of osteoporosis and colorectal cancer, and may retard onset and progression of parkinsonism, Alzheimer dementia, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Observational studies have found lower rates of coronary artery disease (CAD) in postmenopausal women taking estrogen, but clinical trials have not confirmed this effect. A large randomized study of postmenopausal women with established CAD showed no difference between women taking estrogen-progestogen and controls in the incidence of fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, stroke, and in total mortality. In limited studies, estrogen has reduced left ventricular mass substantially more than placebo in hypertensive postmenopausal women using standard antihypertensive t.. Medical opinion as to the safety of estrogen replacement t. remains divided. Although some studies have indicated an increased incidence of breast cancer, the bulk of evidence does not support this conclusion. Administration of estrogen does, however, increase the risk of endometrial carcinoma. Combining cyclic progestogen administration with daily estrogen probably reduces this risk (besides restoring menstrual cycles), but the safety of long-term combined estrogen and progestogen treatment in postmenopausal women is unknown. Younger women who take this combination at higher dosages in oral contraceptives experience an increased risk of hypertension and thromboembolic disease. Some progestogens may negate the favorable effects of estrogen on lipoproteins. Raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), probably does not increase the risk of endometrial cancer, but also does not relieve hot flashes, nor does it inhibit osteoclastic activity or control cholesterol as well as estrogen. As an alternative to the oral route, estrogen can be administered by transdermal patch, either alone or in combination with progestogen.
- extended family t. a type of family t. that involves family members outside the nuclear family and who are closely associated with it and affect it.
- family t. a type of group psychotherapy in which a family in conflict meets as a group with the therapist and explores its relationships and processes; focus is on the resolution of current interactions between members rather than on individual members.
- fast-neutron radiation t. radiation t. using high-energy neutrons from cyclotrons or proton accelerators.
- foreign protein t. SYN: protein shock t..
- functional orthodontic t. SYN: functional jaw orthopedics.
- gene t. alteration of somatic or germ-line DNA to correct or prevent disease; the process of inserting a gene artificially into the genome of an organism to correct a genetic defect or to add a new biologic property or function with therapeutic potential.In somatic gene t., functional DNA sequences are inserted into cells that lack a specific gene or bear a faulty version of it. Vectors include replication-defective viruses, liposomes, and plasmids. For transfer of genetic material by viral infection (called transduction), retroviruses are particularly suitable as vectors because their RNA, converted to DNA by reverse transcriptase, becomes part of the genome of the infected cell. Adenovirus and herpesvirus are also used. Progress has been made in treating a number of inherited disorders, including severe combined immunodeficiency disease, cystic fibrosis, and hemophilia B. Gene t. has several applications in oncology, including the transduction into malignant tumor cells of genes encoding cytokines or coactivation factors, in order to augment host antitumor responses, and the transfer of tumor suppressor genes, particularly p53 (the most commonly mutated gene found in human cancers), in order to enhance the sensitivity of malignant cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Germ-line t. inserts specific genes directly into the DNA of sperm, egg, or embryo, producing heritable alterations of the genome. Chimeras have been created by insertion of human DNA into germ cells of pigs, mice, and other laboratory animals, but experiments with human germ cells are under federal ban.
- gestalt t. a type of psychotherapy, used with individuals or groups, that emphasizes treatment of the person as a whole: the individual's biologic component parts and their organic functioning, perceptual configuration, and interrelationships with the external world; it focuses on the sensory awareness of the person's immediate experiences rather than on past recollections or future expectations, employing role-playing and other techniques to promote the person's growth and develop full potential.
- heterovaccine t. t. with a vaccine obtained from organisms not directly concerned with the disorder being treated.
- hyperbaric oxygen t. treatment in which oxygen is provided in a sealed chamber at an ambient pressure greater than 1 atmosphere. SEE ALSO: hyperbaric oxygenation.
- implosive t. a type of behavior t. using implosion.
- individual t. SYN: dyadic psychotherapy.
- inhalation t. therapeutic use of gases or aerosols by inhalation.
- insulin coma t. insulin coma treatment.
- interstitial t. radiation t. by means of radioactive seeds or needles implanted directly into the tissues to be irradiated.
- intralesional t. t. by injection directly into a lesion, as in corticosteroid injections into skin lesions.
- marital t. SYN: marriage t..
- marriage t. a type of family t. that involves both husband and wife and focuses on the marital relationship as it affects the individual personalities, behaviors, and psychopathologies of the partners; the rationale for this method is the assumption that emotional or psychopathologic processes within the family structure and in the social matrix of the marriage perpetuate individual pathologic personality structures, which find expression in the disturbed marriage and are aggravated by the feedback between partners. SYN: marital t..
- microwave t. SYN: microkymatotherapy.
- milieu t. psychiatric treatment employing manipulation of the social environment for the benefit of the patient; e.g., using the day-to-day experiences of patients living in a ward as the stimuli for discussion and therapeutic change.
- myofunctional t. t. of malocclusion and other dental and speech disorders utilizing muscular exercises of the tongue and lips; most often intended to alter a tongue thrust swallowing pattern.
- nonspecific t. a t. that does not directly relate to the cause; e.g., the injection of a foreign protein, typhoid vaccine, etc., to induce fever in the treatment of certain diseases, especially those of a parasyphilitic nature. SYN: phlogotherapy.
- occupational t. (OT) therapeutic use of self-care, work, and recreational activities to increase independent function, enhance development, and prevent disability; may include adaptation of tasks or environment to achieve maximum independence and optimum quality of life.
- orthodontic t. orthodontics.
- orthomolecular t. treatment designed to remedy deficiencies in any of the normal chemical constituents of the body.
- oxygen t. treatment in which an increased concentration of oxygen is made available for breathing, through a nasal catheter, tent, chamber, or mask.
- parenteral t. t. introduced usually by a needle through some other route than the alimentary canal.
- physical t. (PT) 1. treatment of pain, disease, or injury by physical means; SYN: physiotherapy. 2. the profession concerned with promotion of health, with prevention of physical disabilities, with evaluation and rehabilitation of persons disabled by pain, disease, or injury, and with treatment by physical therapeutic measures as opposed to medical, surgical, or radiologic measures.
- play t. a type of t. used with children in which they can express or reveal their problems and fantasies by playing with dolls or other toys, drawing, etc.
- proliferation t. rehabilitation of an incompetent structure (ligament or tendon) by the induced proliferation of new cells; accomplished by injecting an irritating substance into the loose ligament or tendon, the resulting scar formation and contracture serving to tighten up the ligament or tendon as scar tissue proliferates; rarely used.
- protein shock t. the injection of a foreign protein to induce fever as a means of treating certain diseases. SYN: foreign protein t..
- psychedelic t. psychiatric t. utilizing psychedelic drugs.
- pulse t. a short, intensive course of pharmacotherapy, usually given at intervals such as weekly or monthly; often used in chemotherapy of malignancy.
- quadrangular t. marriage t. involving the husband and wife and their respective therapists.
- radiation t. treatment with x-rays or radionuclides. See radiation oncology.
- radium beam t. SYN: teleradium t..
- rational t. therapeutic procedures introduced by Albert Ellis and based on the premise that lack of information or illogical thought patterns are basic causes of a patient's difficulties; it is assumed that the patient can be assisted in overcoming his or her problems by a direct, prescriptive, advice-giving approach by the therapist.
- reflex t. treatment of some morbid condition by exciting a reflex action, as in the household treatment of nosebleed by a piece of ice applied to the cervical spine. SYN: reflexotherapy.
- replacement t. t. designed to compensate for a lack or deficiency arising from inadequate nutrition, from certain dysfunctions ( e.g., glandular hyposecretion), or from losses ( e.g., hemorrhage); replacement may be physiologic or may entail administration of a substitute ( e.g., a synthetic estrogen in place of estradiol).
- respiratory t. 1. treatment of various respiratory tract–related conditions, such as increased secretions and bronchospasm; 2. the profession charged with administering any of the therapies related to the respiratory system and breathing.
- root canal t. dental t. for damaged pulp by removal of the pulp and sterilization and filling of the root canal.
- rotation t. teletherapy in which a desirable radiation dose distribution is achieved by rotating the patient or machine about an axis passing through the center of the tumor.
- salvage t. SYN: salvage chemotherapy.
- sclerosing t. SYN: sclerotherapy.
- serum t. SYN: serotherapy.
- shock t. shock treatment.
- social t. a psychiatric rehabilitative t. to improve a patient's social functioning.
- social network t. a type of t. involving the assembling of all persons emotionally or functionally important to the patient for the purpose of affecting behavioral change in the patient.
- solar t. treatment of disease by exposure to sunlight. SYN: solar treatment.
- specific t. t. aimed at the cause(s) of a disease process, as opposed to symptomatic t..
- substitution t. replacement t., particularly when replacement is not physiologic but entails administration of a substitute.
- substitutive t. SYN: allopathy.
- teleradium t. therapeutic use of radium rays, the source of which is a quantity of radium at a distance from the patient. SYN: radium beam t..
- thrombolytic t. intravenous administration of an agent intended to dissolve a clot causing acute ischemia, as in myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral arterial or venous thrombosis. Thrombolytic agents degrade fibrin clots by activating plasminogen, a naturally occurring modulator of hemostatic and thrombotic processes. Synthesized by the liver, plasminogen is present in circulating blood and binds to platelets, endothelium, and fibrin. At sites of vascular injury with thrombus formation, tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), produced by endothelial cells, also binds to fibrin and converts fibrin-bound plasminogen to plasmin by cleaving the arginine-valine bond in the 560–561 position of plasminogen. The resulting clot lysis is due to degradation of fibrin threads as well as of glycoproteins required for platelet adhesion and aggregation. Thrombolytic agents in current use mimic the effects of natural TPA. These include alteplase, a TPA produced by recombinant DNA technology; reteplase, a variant of the TPA molecule, also genetically engineered; urokinase, a tissue protein derived from human kidney cell cultures; streptokinase, a product of β-hemolytic streptococci that catalyzes the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin; and anistreplase, an inactive form of plasminogen that is bound to streptokinase and undergoes deacylation after administration, resulting in persistent activation of plasminogen. The latter 2 products are potentially antigenic and can cause systemic hypersensitivity reactions. SEE ALSO: tissue plasminogen activator.Thrombolytic t. reduces the in-hospital and 1-year mortality of acute myocardial infarction (MI) by 20–40% when administered promptly (within the first 100 minutes); some benefit may accrue even after a delay of 6–12 hours. About one-half of people treated for acute MI with a thrombolytic agent have patent coronary arteries after 90 minutes. Emergency percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty may provide better survival figures, but can only be undertaken in a setting where emergency coronary artery bypass graft is feasible in case of failure. Streptokinase has sometimes been preferred to TPA in acute MI because it is much less expensive. However, an exhaustive analysis has shown that the use of TPA is cost-effective, particularly in anterior MI. The fact that thrombolytic drugs activate platelets partially negates their effectiveness. In preliminary trials, combining heparin and the platelet inhibitor abciximab with TPA markedly enhanced its ability to restore arterial patency in acute MI. In ischemic stroke, administration of TPA within the first 3 hours has been shown to improve overall outcome at 90 days. The usefulness of thrombolytic t. in stroke is limited by the difficulty of excluding hemorrhagic stroke and the risk of hemorrhage as a side effect of t.. Of five clinical trials to evaluate the use of thrombolytics in stroke patients, four were stopped prematurely because of excess mortality in the treatment groups. Only TPA is currently recommended in the treatment of stroke. In addition to stroke and myocardial infarction, thrombolytic t. has been used in pulmonary embolism, deep venous thrombosis, and peripheral arterial occlusion. Thrombolytic t. in acute occlusion of a lower-limb artery (or arterial bypass graft) can obviate the need for surgery in many patients without increasing mortality or amputation rate. Recanalization occurs in as many as 80% of patients. The chief risk of thrombolytic t. is major hemorrhage. It is contraindicated in the presence of active or recent hemorrhage, recent surgery, intracranial neoplasm or recent head trauma, aortic dissection, acute pericarditis, prolonged or traumatic cardiopulmonary resuscitation, pregnancy, or sensitivity to the specific agent.
- Time-Line t. a technique, based on the principles of neurolinguistic programming, for releasing negative emotions and revising limiting decisions, that directs the client, in a dissociated state, to return to significant past events with new resources so that negative emotions can be released or limiting decisions revised. SEE ALSO: dissociation (4).
- total push t. the application of all available therapies to the treatment of a psychiatric patient in a hospital setting.
- ultrasonic t. t. for musculoskeletal disease using ultrasonic waves to produce heat.
- viral t. the use of genetically altered virus particles for delivering genes to specific sites for the purpose of t..
- x-ray t. radiation t. using x-rays; sometimes used ironically to refer to excessive use of diagnostic radiation.

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ther·a·py 'ther-ə-pē n, pl -pies therapeutic treatment: as
a) remedial treatment of mental or bodily disorder
b) an agency (as treatment) designed or serving to bring about rehabilitation or social adjustment see OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY, recreational therapy

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ther·a·py (therґə-pe) [Gr. therapeia service done to the sick] the treatment of disease; called also therapeutics.

See also under treatment.


Medical dictionary. 2011.

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