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Dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT) is a brief, structured psychodynamic psychotherapy with demonstrated efficacy in treating major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of the study was to determine whether DIT is an acceptable and efficacious treatment for MDD patients in China.
Patients were randomized to 16-week treatments with either DIT plus antidepressant medication (DIT + ADM; n = 66), general supportive therapy plus antidepressant medication (GST + ADM; n = 75) or antidepressant medication alone (ADM; n = 70). The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) administered by blind raters was the primary efficacy measure. Assessments were completed during the acute 16-week treatment and up to 12-month posttreatment.
The group × time interaction was significant for the primary outcome HAMD (F = 2.900, df1 = 10, df2 = 774.72, p = 0.001) in the acute treatment phase. Pairwise comparisons showed a benefit of DIT + ADM over ADM at weeks 12 [least-squares (LS) mean difference = −3.161, p = 0.007] and 16 (LS mean difference = −3.237, p = 0.004). Because of the unexpected high attrition during the posttreatment follow-up phase, analyses of follow-up data were considered exploratory. Differences between DIT + ADM and ADM remained significant at the 1-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up (ps range from 0.001 to 0.027). DIT + ADM had no advantage over GST + ADM during the acute treatment phase. However, at the 12-month follow-up, patients who received DIT remained less depressed.
Acute treatment with DIT or GST in combination with ADM was similarly efficacious in reducing depressive symptoms and yielded a better outcome than ADM alone. DIT may provide MDD patients with long-term benefits in symptom improvement but results must be viewed with caution.
A stepped care approach involves patients first receiving low-intensity treatment followed by higher intensity treatment. This two-step randomized controlled trial investigated the efficacy of a sequential stepped care approach for the psychological treatment of binge-eating disorder (BED).
In the first step, all participants with BED (n = 135) received unguided self-help (USH) based on a cognitive-behavioral therapy model. In the second step, participants who remained in the trial were randomized either to 16 weeks of group psychodynamic-interpersonal psychotherapy (GPIP) (n = 39) or to a no-treatment control condition (n = 46). Outcomes were assessed for USH in step 1, and then for step 2 up to 6-months post-treatment using multilevel regression slope discontinuity models.
In the first step, USH resulted in large and statistically significant reductions in the frequency of binge eating. Statistically significant moderate to large reductions in eating disorder cognitions were also noted. In the second step, there was no difference in change in frequency of binge eating between GPIP and the control condition. Compared with controls, GPIP resulted in significant and large improvement in attachment avoidance and interpersonal problems.
The findings indicated that a second step of a stepped care approach did not significantly reduce binge-eating symptoms beyond the effects of USH alone. The study provided some evidence for the second step potentially to reduce factors known to maintain binge eating in the long run, such as attachment avoidance and interpersonal problems.
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