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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be delivered efficaciously through various modalities, including telephone (T-CBT) and face-to-face (FtF-CBT). The purpose of this study was to explore predictors of outcome in T-CBT and FtF-CBT for depression.
A total of 325 depressed participants were randomized to receive eighteen 45-min sessions of T-CBT or FtF-CBT. Depression severity was measured using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses were conducted with baseline participant demographics and psychological characteristics predicting depression outcomes, HAMD and PHQ-9, at end of treatment (week 18).
The demographic and psychological characteristics accurately identified 85.3% and 85.0% of treatment responders and 85.7% and 85.0% of treatment non-responders on the HAMD and PHQ-9, respectively. The Coping self-efficacy (CSE) scale predicted outcome on both the HAMD and PHQ-9; those with moderate to high CSE were likely to respond with no other variable influencing that prediction. Among those with low CSE, depression severity influenced response. Social support, physical functioning, and employment emerged as predictors only for the HAMD, and sex predicted response on the PHQ-9. Treatment delivery method (i.e. telephone or face-to-face) did not impact the prediction of outcome.
Findings suggest that the predictors of improved depression are similar across treatment modalities. Most importantly, a moderate to high level of CSE significantly increases the chance of responding in both T-CBT and FtF-CBT. Among patients with low CSE, those with lower depressive symptom severity are more likely to do well in treatment.
Stressful life events have long been suspected to contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity. The few studies examining the relationship between stressful events and neuroimaging markers have been small and inconsistent. This study examined whether different types of stressful events and perceived stress could predict the development of brain lesions.
This was a secondary analysis of 121 patients with MS followed for 48 weeks during a randomized controlled trial comparing stress management therapy for MS (SMT-MS) to a waitlist control (WLC). Patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans every 8 weeks. Every month, patients completed an interview measure assessing stressful life events and self-report measures of perceived stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, which were used to predict the presence of gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) and T2 lesions on MRI scans 29–62 days later. Participants classified stressful events as positive or negative. Negative events were considered ‘major’ if they involved physical threat or threat to the patient's family structure, and ‘moderate’ otherwise.
Positive stressful events predicted decreased risk for subsequent Gd+ lesions in the control group [odds ratio (OR) 0.53 for each additional positive stressful event, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.30–0.91] and less risk for new or enlarging T2 lesions regardless of group assignment (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.55–0.99). Across groups, major negative stressful events predicted Gd+ lesions (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.18–2.64) and new or enlarging T2 lesions (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.11–2.23) whereas moderate negative stressful events, perceived stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms did not.
Major negative stressful events predict increased risk for Gd+ and T2 lesions whereas positive stressful events predict decreased risk.
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