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Cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy comparably effective for major depression

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Professor Sue Luty

Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand; sue.luty@chmeds.ac.nz

QUESTION

Question:

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT): which is more effective for depression?

Patients:

177 adults (aged over 18 years) with DSM-IV non-psychotic major depression. Main exclusions: history of mania, schizophrenia, major physical illness, moderate or severe current alcohol or drug dependence, antisocial personality disorder or failure to respond to a recent (within the last year) trial of either CBT or IPT.

Setting:

Recruitment from various sources including mental health out-patient clinics, psychiatric emergency services, self-referral and general practitioners between August 1998 and February 2003; treatment delivered in a university-based outpatient research unit.

Intervention:

CBT or IPT for up to 16 weeks. Both approaches were delivered as 50-minute weekly sessions.

Outcomes:

Change in depression symptoms (% change in Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score) between baseline and follow-up.

Patient follow-up:

89.8% of people completed adequate treatment (at least 8 sessions of weekly therapy); 100% included in intention-to-treat analyses.

METHODS

Design:

Randomised controlled trial. …

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