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Randomised controlled trial of interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive–behavioural therapy for depression

  • Suzanne E. Luty (a1), Janet D. Carter (a1), Janice M. McKenzie (a1), Alma M. Rae (a1), Christopher M. A. Frampton (a1), Roger T. Mulder (a1) and Peter R. Joyce (a1)...

Abstract

Background

Interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) are established as effective treatments for major depression. Controversy remains regarding their effectiveness for severe and melancholic depression.

Aims

To compare the efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy and CBT in people receiving out-patient treatment for depression and to explore response in severe depression (Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score above 30), and in melancholic depression.

Method

Randomised clinical trial of 177 patients with a principal Axis I diagnosis of major depressive disorder receiving 16 weeks of therapy comprising 8–19 sessions. Primary outcome was improvement in MADRS score from baseline to end of treatment.

Results

There was no difference between the two psychotherapies in the sample as a whole, but CBT was more effective than interpersonal psychotherapy in severe depression, and the response was comparable with that for mild and moder-ate depression. Melancholia did not predict poor response to either psychotherapy.

Conclusions

Both therapies are equally effective for depression but CBT maybe preferred in severe depression.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Professor Sue Luty, Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand. Tel: +64 3 3720 400; fax: +64 3 3720 407; email: sue.luty@chmeds.ac.nz

Footnotes

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See pp. 503–508, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Randomised controlled trial of interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive–behavioural therapy for depression

  • Suzanne E. Luty (a1), Janet D. Carter (a1), Janice M. McKenzie (a1), Alma M. Rae (a1), Christopher M. A. Frampton (a1), Roger T. Mulder (a1) and Peter R. Joyce (a1)...
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