Comparable Benefits for Psychotherapies in Depression

Comparable Benefits for Psychotherapies in Depression
Comparable Benefits for Psychotherapies in Depression

(HealthDay News) – Seven psychotherapeutic interventions for depression provide comparable benefits, according to research published online May 28 in PLOS Medicine.

Jürgen Barth, PhD, from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues identified and performed a meta-analysis of 198 published studies involving 15,118 adult patients with depression that examined the efficacy of seven types of psychotherapeutic interventions for depression (interpersonal psychotherapy, behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy, problem solving therapy, psychodynamic therapy, social skills training, and supportive counseling).

The researchers found that all seven interventions had moderate-to-large effects compared to a waitlist control and a small-to-moderate effect compared to usual care. All interventions had comparable benefits, although interpersonal therapy was significantly more effective than supportive therapy. Patient characteristics did not influence treatment effects, while aspects of study quality and sample size did modify effect.

"Overall, our results are consistent with the notion that different psychotherapeutic interventions for depression have comparable benefits," Barth and colleagues conclude. "However, the robustness of the evidence varies considerably between different psychotherapeutic treatments."

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