Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cognitive therapy works as well as antidepressants, but with lasting effect after therapy ends

05.04.2005


Cognitive therapy to treat moderate to severe depression works just as well as antidepressants, according to an authoritative report appearing today in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University, challenges the American Psychiatric Association’s guidelines that antidepressant medications are the only effective treatment for moderately to severely depressed patients.

Either form of treatment worked significantly better than a placebo, but the researchers demonstrated that cognitive therapy was more effective than medication at preventing relapses after the end of treatment. "We believe that cognitive therapy might have more lasting effects because it equips patients with the tools they need to learn how to manage their problems and emotions," said Robert DeRubeis, professor and chair of Penn’s Department of Psychology. "Pharmaceuticals, while effective, offer no long term cure for the symptoms of depression. For many people, cognitive therapy might prove to be the preferred form of treatment."

The study, which follows years of debate on the relative merits of cognitive therapy versus medication for more severe forms of depression, is the largest trial yet undertaken on the topic; it involved 240 depressed patients. The patients were randomly placed into groups that received cognitive therapy, antidepressant medication or a placebo. Patients in the antidepressant group, which was twice as large as the other two, were treated with paroxetine (Paxil). Lithium or desipramine was also given, as necessary.



After 16 weeks of treatment, patients in both the medication and cognitive therapy groups showed improvement at about the same rate; however, cognitive therapy patients were less likely to relapse in the two years following the end of treatment. According to the researchers, the return of symptoms might demonstrate that the medication may have blunted the appearance of depression but did not affect underlying disease processes. "Medication is often an appropriate treatment, but drugs have drawbacks, such as side effects or a diminished efficacy over time," DeRubeis said. "Patients with depression are often overwhelmed by other factors in their life that pills simply cannot solve. In many cases, cognitive therapy succeeds because it teaches the skills that help people cope."

The researchers also noted slight differences in the response to treatment between the two testing locations, with cognitive therapy performing better at Penn and medications performing better at Vanderbilt. Researchers surmise that the medication worked so well at the Vanderbilt clinic because more of the patients there were markedly anxious, in addition to being depressed, and the medications used in the research have anti-anxiety properties.

The researchers further believe that cognitive therapy patients might have done better at Penn due to the experience level of the therapists involved. Just as the experience of therapists may be important in cognitive therapy, so, too, can the expertise of prescribing physicians play a role in the success of antidepressant medication treatment. Studies have shown that antidepressant medication dosages are still largely a matter of physicians’ discretion.

"Clearly, cognitive therapy is not for everyone, and its success could depend on variables such as the expertise of the therapist and the patient’s willingness or ability to take the therapy to heart," DeRubeis said. "The key to establishing any form of treatment is rating its effectiveness in comparison to treatments currently in use, and this study has shown cognitive therapy to be a viable alternative."

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>