Psychological Treatment of Depression in Primary Care: Recent Developments

Pim Cuijpers*, Soledad Quero, Christopher Dowrick, Bruce Arroll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose of Review: We give an overview of recent developments on psychological treatments of depression in primary care. Recent Findings: In recent years, it has become clear that psychotherapies can effectively be delivered through e-health applications. Furthermore, several studies in low and middle income countries have shown that lay health counselors can effectively deliver psychological therapies. Behavioral activation, a relatively simple form of therapy, has been found to be as effective as cognitive behavior therapy. Treatment of subthreshold depression has been found to not only reduce depressive symptoms but also prevent the onset of major depression. In addition, therapies are effective in older adults, patients with general medical disorders and in perinatal depression. Summary: Psychological therapies are effective in the treatment of depression in primary care, have longer lasting effects than drugs, are preferred by the majority of patients, and can be applied flexibly with different formats and across different target groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number12
Early online date23 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Depression
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Primary care
  • Psychotherapy


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