It can occur at any time of life and it may affect children and adolescents as well as the elderly. However, depression can usually be suitably managed with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Researchers based at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have been able to demonstrate both the efficacy and the extent of the beneficial effect of routine psychotherapeutic treatment for depression. Although controlled clinical studies have already shown that behavioral therapy is extremely effective in depressive disorders, there were still doubts among professionals that the results of this research could be directly applied to the kinds of routine therapy that could be provided in the environment of the normal psychotherapy practice. "We have been able to prove that behavioral therapy is also of considerable value under these conditions," states psychologist Amrei Schindler of the Outpatient Policlinic for Psychotherapy of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "Although our results were not quite as positive as those reported from randomized controlled trials."
The study population consisted of 229 patients who had been referred to the Mainz University Outpatient Clinic with depression in the period 2001-2008. Of these, 174 did not prematurely terminate therapy - in other words, they completed the full course of treatment. "On average, the patients attended 35 therapy sessions in our clinic, so that each course of treatment lasted some 18 months," Schindler explains. Results were recorded at three predefined points in time. Evaluation of the data collected for the total sample of 229 patients showed that there was significant alleviation of depressive symptoms and psychological manifestations during the course of treatment. On the basis of the results obtained using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) - a standard questionnaire used worldwide for self-assessment of depressive symptoms – 61 percent of all participating patients achieved a better than 50 percent improvement of their symptoms. "On completion of therapy, patients reported significantly fewer symptoms than on commencement," Schindler summarizes the results of a before/after comparison. Whether patients were also concomitantly taking psychotropic drugs or not evidently had no effect on the outcome under these circumstances.
Patients normally need to wait for several months before they are able to commence therapy; in the case of the study population, this waiting period was nearly five months. On comparison of depression-related parameters at the time of registration for the course of therapy and at the time of commencement of therapy, it was found that there had been no perceptible change to depressive symptoms during this waiting period. "We conclude that the improvements are de facto attributable to behavioral therapy and are not the result, or at least not alone the result, of the use of psychotropic drugs or spontaneous remission." Schindler also points out that there were also distinct improvements in the patients who prematurely discontinued treatment, although these were not as marked as in those cases in which the full course of therapy was completed.
However, the results of the study also indicate that when therapy is provided under empirical conditions, as at the University Clinic, it is not quite as effective as under the conditions of randomized controlled trials that have been designed for research purposes. A further study is to be conducted in order to determine whether and to what extent this effect correlates with differences between patient populations.
The Outpatient Policlinic for Psychotherapy
The Outpatient Policlinic for Psychotherapy of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is a university-based clinic authorized to undertake training, research and teaching under the German Psychotherapist Law (Psychotherapeutengesetz). It provides treatments that are consistent with the latest status of psychotherapeutic research (such as behavioral therapy). The costs of therapy are assumed by statutory and private health insurance providers. The quality management system in place at the clinic has been accredited under DIN EN ISO 9001 since 2005.
Petra Giegerich | idw
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy