Study Confirms Benefit of Adjunct CBT in Med-Resistant Depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy plus usual care efficacious in medication-resistant depression

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective for reducing depressive symptoms when used as an adjunct to usual care in medication-resistant patients, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in The Lancet.

Nicola Wiles, Ph.D., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomized 469 patients aged 18 to 75 years with treatment resistant depression (defined as on antidepressants for at least six weeks; Beck depression inventory [BDI] score of at least 14; and international classification of diseases [ICD]-10 criteria for depression) to either usual care (235 participants) or CBT plus usual care (234 participants).

The researchers found that, at six months, significantly more participants in the intervention group met the criteria for response (at least 50 percent reduction in depressive symptoms [BDI score] compared with baseline), compared to the participants in the usual-care group (46 versus 22 percent; odds ratio, 3.26).

"The promising findings from Wiles and colleagues, specific to medication-resistant depression, add to the already impressive efficacy for CBT as assessed for other stages of treatment -- i.e., as an efficacious first-line alternative to pharmacotherapy -- and as a strategy for antidepressant discontinuation, with retention of benefit over time," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Several authors are affiliated with cognitive behavioral therapy associations.

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