Outcome of cognitive behaviour therapy for minor depression in routine practice

P. Cuijpers, H.F.E. Smit, I. Voordouw, J. Kramer

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Abstract

Objectives. To examine (1) whether the improvement in depressive symptomatology in subjects participating in psychoeducational groups for minor depression in routine practice is comparable to the improvement realized in a randomized efficacy trial; and (2) whether the level of depressive symptoms of subjects who participated in this intervention is similar after treatment to the level of depressive symptoms of the general population. Design. Participants (N = 187) of 20 psychoeducational groups in routine practice in the Netherlands were examined before and after the intervention using the Centre for Epidemiological Studies - Depression scale (CES-D). Methods. The standardized improvement from pre- to post-test in subjects was compared to the improvement found in subjects participating in a randomized trial of the same intervention. Furthermore, we compared the post-test scores to the scores of the general population. Results. The improvement of depressive symptoms in routine practice was of the same magnitude as the improvement in the randomized trial. However, a considerable proportion of the participants (54.5%) still scored above the cut-off score of the CES-D at post-test, and the mean CES-D score of the participants (M = 17.0; SD = 9.8) differed significantly (p < .01) from the mean score in the general population (M = 9.7; SD = 8.6). Conclusion. Psychoeducational intervention can be an important help for people with depressive symptoms. The improvement in terms of depressive symptoms in routine practice does not differ from the improvement found in a randomized trial. However, participants remained considerably more depressed than the general population and this intervention is, for many, not sufficient as a form of treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Bibliographical note

Working title: Outcome of cognitive behaviour therapy for minor depression in daily practice

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