Relative efficacy of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of depression; a meta-analysis,

S.C.M. de Maat, J.J.M. Dekker, R. Schoevers, F. de Jonghe

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Abstract

We investigated the efficacy of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy for depression by searching for RCT's. Studies were classified according to chronicity and severity and a meta-analysis was applied. Ten studies were included. Remission did not differ between psychotherapy (38%) and pharmacotherapy (35%). No differences were found in chronic, or in non-chronic depression, and in mild or in moderate depression. Both treatments performed better in mild than in moderate depression. Dropout was larger in pharmacotherapy (28%) than in psychotherapy (24%). At follow-up relapse in pharmacotherapy (57%) was higher than in psychotherapy (27%). Psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy appear equally efficacious in depression. Both treatments have larger effects in mild than in moderate depression, but similar effects in chronic and non-chronic depression and at follow-up psychotherapy outperforms pharmacotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-578
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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