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Review: cognitive therapy has a beneficial effect equivalent to behaviour therapy and that of antidepressants in patients with mild to moderate depression

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Question In patients with mild to moderate depression, is cognitive therapy (CT) an effective treatment?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline and EMBASE/Excerpta Medica; scanning the bibliographies of identified papers and books; referring to previous reviews; reviewing the abstracts from congress presentations; and preprints sent by authors.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials with ≥1 CT group and 1 comparison group (waiting list, placebo, antidepressants, behaviour therapy, or another psychotherapeutic treatment) in patients who had major depression or dysthymic disorder, with the exclusion of psychotic depression and bipolar affective disorder.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on patient characteristics, treatment conditions, and severity of depression after treatment measured using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

Main results

78 trials were identified of which …

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