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Continuation-phase cognitive therapy and fluoxetine are effective in reducing the risk of relapse/recurrence in major depression after incomplete remission
  1. Florian Weck
  1. Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

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What is already known on this topic?

Patients receiving a diagnosis of major depression have high risks of relapse and recurrence, increasing with every additional depressive episode.1 Therefore, the prevention of further depressive episodes in recurrent depression is an important aim of psychiatric and psychological treatment. In particular, cognitive therapy has demonstrated both its efficacy in the treatment of recurrent depression and comparable efficacy to pharmacological treatments.2

What does this paper add?

  • Jarrett and colleagues’ study is the largest investigation to date (N=241) to address a subgroup of patients with incomplete remission after 12-week cognitive therapy. This is an important subgroup, because previous studies have demonstrated that patients with incomplete remission have increased risk of relapse and recurrence.3

  • In the current study, instead of assessment only, more rigorous control groups (ie, pharmacotherapy and pill placebo) were used than in former studies, which further strengthen the empirical evidence of continuation-phase cognitive therapy (C-CT).

  • Fluoxetine (18%) and C-CT (18.3%) demonstrated comparable …

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