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Cognitive psycho-educational group therapy intervention found to lower relapse rate in depression…

A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, has found patients hospitalized with major depressive disorder who participated in a short-term psycho-educational program with cognitive behavioral group therapy in addition to normal inpatient treatment had a lower re-hospitalization rate during a 2-year follow-up period. This advocates the prominence of cognitive therapy as a treatment of major depression disorder.

The study in which 177 patients who were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment interventions: extended clinical management (n=58), psycho-educational cognitive behavioral group therapy (n=59), or psychoeducational cognitive behavioral group therapy plus individual outpatient treatment (n=60). All patients received pharmacotherapy treatments, mainly antidepressants. Patients in the group receiving individual outpatient treatment attended sessions for 6 months following hospitalization. Outcomes between groups were compared for depressive symptoms, psychosocial functioning, knowledge about depression, and rehospitalization; outcome measures were collected at baseline, midway through treatment, post-treatment, and following hospital discharge every six months for two years.

Results of the trial indicate that all three treatment interventions were highly effective at reducing depressive symptoms and increasing psychosocial functioning. Patients who received the psychoeducation group intervention plus individual outpatient sessions had higher rehospitalization rates than patients in cognitive psychoeducation group therapy alone. Because the rate of rehospitalization was highest following the end of the six-month individual therapy component for this cohort, study investigators suggest that termination of individual sessions may have been a stressor for relapsing patients.

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