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INFLUENTIAL PUBLICATIONS   |    
Abstracts for Psychotherapy
FOCUS 2006;4:200-203.
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Copyright 2006 American Psychiatric Association

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Given space limitations and varying reprint permission policies, not all of the influentual publications the editors considered reprinting in this issue could be included. This section contains abstracts from additional articles the editors deemed well worth reviewing.

Psychotherapy and Medication in the Treatment of Adult and Geriatric Depression: Which Monotherapy or Combined Treatment?

Hollon SD, Jarrett RB, Nierenberg AA, Thase ME, Trivedi M, Rush AJ

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry2005; 66:455—468

Objective: The authors reviewed the literature with respect to the relative efficacy of medications and psychotherapy alone and in combination in the treatment of depression. Data sources and study selection: Findings from empirical studies comparing medications and psychotherapy alone and in combination were synthesized and prognostic and prescriptive indices identified. We searched both MEDLINE and PsychINFO for items published from January 1980 to October 2004 using the following terms: treatment of depression, psychotherapy and depression, and pharmacotherapy and depression. Studies were selected that randomly assigned depressed patients to combined treatment versus monotherapy. Data synthesis: Medication typically has a rapid and robust effect and can prevent symptom return so long as it is continued or maintained, but does little to reduce risk once its use is terminated. Both interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medications in the acute treatment of depressed outpatients. Interpersonal psychotherapy may improve interpersonal functioning, whereas CBT appears to have an enduring effect that reduces subsequent risk following treatment termination. Ongoing treatment with either IPT or CBT appears to further reduce risk. Treatment with the combination of medication and IPT or CBT retains the specific benefits of each and may enhance the probability of response over either monotherapy, especially in chronic depressions. Conclusion: Both medication and certain targeted psychotherapies appear to be effective in the treatment of depression. Although several prognostic indices have been identified that predict need for longer or more intensive treatment, few prescriptive indices have yet been established to select among the different treatments. Combined treatment can improve response with selected patients and enhance its breadth (IPT) or stability (CBT).

Two-Year Outcomes for Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy in Individuals With Bipolar I Disorder

Frank E, Kupfer DJ, Thase ME, Mallinger AG, Swartz HA, Fagiolini AM, Grochocinski V, Houck P, Scott J, Thompson W, Monk T

Archives of General Psychiatry2005; 62:996—1004

Context: Numerous studies have pointed to the failure of prophylaxis with pharmacotherapy alone in the treatment of bipolar I disorder. Recent investigations have demonstrated benefits from the addition of psychoeducation or psychotherapy to pharmacotherapy in this population. Objective: To compare 2 psychosocial interventions: interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) and an intensive clinical management (ICM) approach in the treatment of bipolar I disorder. Design: Randomized controlled trial involving 4 treatment strategies: acute and maintenance IPSRT (IPSRT/IPSRT), acute and maintenance ICM (ICM/ICM), acute IPSRT followed by maintenance ICM (IPSRT/ICM), or acute ICM followed by maintenance IPSRT (ICM/IPSRT). The preventive maintenance phase lasted 2 years. Setting: Research clinic in a university medical center. Participants: One hundred seventy-five acutely ill individuals with bipolar I disorder recruited from inpatient and outpatient settings, clinical referral, public presentations about bipolar disorder, and other public information activities. Interventions: Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, an adaptation of Klerman and Weissman’s interpersonal psychotherapy to which a social rhythm regulation component has been added, and ICM. Main outcome measures: Time to stabilization in the acute phase and time to recurrence in the maintenance phase. Results: We observed no difference between the treatment strategies in time to stabilization. After controlling for covariates of survival time, we found that participants assigned to IPSRT in the acute treatment phase survived longer without a new affective episode (P = .01), irrespective of maintenance treatment assignment. Participants in the IPSRT group had higher regularity of social rhythms at the end of acute treatment (P<.001). Ability to increase regularity of social rhythms during acute treatment was associated with reduced likelihood of recurrence during the maintenance phase (P = .05). Conclusion: Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy appears to add to the clinical armamentarium for the management of bipolar I disorder, particularly with respect to prophylaxis of new episodes.

Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy for Anxiety and Depressive Disorders in Children and Adolescents: An Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Compton SN, March JS, Brent D, Albano AM 5th, Weersing R, Curry J

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry2004; 43:930—959

Objective: To review the literature on the cognitive-behavioral treatment of children and adolescents with anxiety and depressive disorders within the conceptual framework of evidence-based medicine. Method: The psychiatric and psychological literature was systematically searched for controlled trials applying cognitive-behavioral treatment to pediatric anxiety and depressive disorders. Results: For both anxiety and depression, substantial evidence supports the efficacy of problem-specific cognitive-behavioral interventions. Comparisons with wait-list, inactive control, and active control conditions suggest medium to large effects for symptom reduction in primary outcome domains. Conclusions: From an evidence-based perspective, cognitive-behavioral therapy is currently the treatment of choice for anxiety and depressive disorders in children and adolescents. Future research in this area will need to focus on comparing cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy with other treatments, component analyses, and the application of exportable protocol-driven treatments to divergent settings and patient populations.

Regional Brain Metabolic Changes in Patients With Major Depression Treated With Either Paroxetine or Interpersonal Therapy: Preliminary Findings

Brody AL, Saxena S, Stoessel P, Gillies LA, Fairbanks LA, Alborzian S, Phelps ME, Huang SC, Wu HM, Ho ML, Ho MK, Au SC, Maidment K, Baxter LR Jr

Archives of General Psychiatry2001; 58:631—640

Background: In functional brain imaging studies of major depressive disorder (MDD), regional abnormalities have been most commonly found in prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, and temporal lobe. We examined baseline regional metabolic abnormalities and metabolic changes from pretreatment to posttreatment in subjects with MDD. We also performed a preliminary comparison of regional changes with 2 distinct forms of treatment (paroxetine and interpersonal psychotherapy). Methods: Twenty-four subjects with unipolar MDD and 16 normal control subjects underwent resting F 18 ((18)F) fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scanning before and after 12 weeks. Between scans, subjects with MDD were treated with either paroxetine or interpersonal psychotherapy (based on patient preference), while controls underwent no treatment. Results: At baseline, subjects with MDD had higher normalized metabolism than controls in the prefrontal cortex (and caudate and thalamus), and lower metabolism in the temporal lobe. With treatment, subjects with MDD had metabolic changes in the direction of normalization in these regions. After treatment, paroxetine-treated subjects had a greater mean decrease in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score (61.4%) than did subjects treated with interpersonal psychotherapy (38.0%), but both subgroups showed decreases in normalized prefrontal cortex (paroxetine-treated bilaterally and interpersonal psychotherapy-treated on the right) and left anterior cingulate gyrus metabolism, and increases in normalized left temporal lobe metabolism. Conclusions: Subjects with MDD had regional brain metabolic abnormalities at baseline that tended to normalize with treatment. Regional metabolic changes appeared similar with the 2 forms of treatment. These results should be interpreted with caution because of study limitations (small sample size, lack of random assignment to treatment groups, and differential treatment response between treatment subgroups).

Medications Versus Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Severely Depressed Outpatients: Mega-Analysis of Four Randomized Comparisons

DeRubeis RJ, Gelfand LA, Tang TZ, Simons AD

American Journal of Psychiatry1999; 156:1007—1013

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the acute outcomes of antidepressant medication and cognitive behavior therapy in the severely depressed outpatient subgroups of four major randomized trials. A secondary objective was to compare the results obtained in the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program, upon which treatment guidelines have been based, with those obtained in the other three studies. Method: Outcomes of antidepressant medication and cognitive behavior therapy were compared within each of the four studies separately and for patients aggregated across the four studies. In addition, the outcomes in the antidepressant medication and cognitive behavior therapy conditions of the Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program were compared with those obtained in the other three studies. Results: The overall effect sizes comparing antidepressant medication to cognitive behavior therapy favored cognitive behavior therapy, but tests comparing the two modalities did not reveal a significant advantage for either modality overall. Conclusions: Cognitive behavior therapy has fared as well as antidepressant medication with severely depressed outpatients in four major comparisons. Until findings emerge from current or future comparative trials, antidepressant medication should not be considered, on the basis of empirical evidence, to be superior to cognitive behavior therapy for the acute treatment of severely depressed outpatients.

A Clinical Psychotherapy Trial for Adolescent Depression Comparing Cognitive, Family, and Supportive Therapy

Brent DA, Holder D, Kolko D, Birmaher B, Baugher M, Roth C, Iyengar S, Johnson BA

Archives of General Psychiatry1997; 54:877—885

Background: Previous studies in nonclinical samples have shown psychosocial treatments to be efficacious in the treatment of adolescent depression, but few psychotherapy treatment studies have been conducted in clinically referred, depressed adolescents. Methods: One hundred seven adolescent patients with DSM-III-R major depressive disorder (MDD) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: individual cognitive behavior therapy, systemic behavior family therapy (SBFT), or individual nondirective supportive therapy (NST). Treatments were 12 to 16 sessions provided in as many weeks. Intent-to-treat analyses were conducted using all follow-up data. Results: Of the 107 patients enrolled in the study, 78 (72.9%) completed the study, 4 (3.7%) never initiated treatment, 10 (9.3%) had exclusionary criteria that were undetected at entry, 8 (7.5%) dropped out, and 7 (6.5%) were removed for clinical reasons. Cognitive behavior therapy showed a lower rate of MDD at the end of treatment compared with NST (17.1% vs 42.4%; P = .02), and resulted in a higher rate of remission (64.7%, defined as absence of MDD and at least 3 consecutive Beck Depression Inventory scores < 9) than SBFT (37.9%; P = .03) or NST (39.4%; p = .04). Cognitive behavior therapy resulted in more rapid relief in interviewer-rated (vs both treatments, P = .03) and self-reported depression (vs SBFT, P = .02). All 3 treatments showed significant and similar reductions in suicidality and functional impairment. Parents’ views of the credibility of cognitive behavior therapy improved compared with parents’ views of both SBFT (P = .01) and NST (P = .05). Conclusions: Cognitive behavior therapy is more efficacious than SBFT or NST for adolescent MDD in clinical settings, resulting in more rapid and complete treatment response.

A Comparison of Cognitive Therapy, Applied Relaxation, and Imipramine in the Treatment of Panic Disorder

Clark DM, Salkovskis PM, Hackmann A, Middleton H, Anastasiades P, Gelder M

British Journal of Psychiatry1994; 164:759—769

Recent studies have shown that cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for panic disorder. However, little is known about how cognitive therapy compares with other psychological and pharmacological treatments. To investigate this question 64 panic disorder patients were initially assigned to cognitive therapy, applied relaxation, imipramine (mean 233 mg/day), or a 3-month wait followed by allocation to treatment. During treatment patients had up to 12 sessions in the first 3 months and up to three booster sessions in the next 3 months. Imipramine was gradually withdrawn after 6 months. Each treatment included self-exposure homework assignments. Cognitive therapy and applied relaxation sessions lasted one hour. Imipramine sessions lasted 25 minutes. Assessments were before treatment/wait and at 3, 6, and 15 months. Comparisons with waiting-list showed all three treatments were effective. Comparisons between treatments showed that at 3 months cognitive therapy was superior to both applied relaxation and imipramine on most measures. At 6 months cognitive therapy did not differ from imipramine and both were superior to applied relaxation on several measures. Between 6 and 15 months a number of imipramine patients relapsed. At 15 months cognitive therapy was again superior to both applied relaxation and imipramine but on fewer measures than at 3 months. Cognitive measures taken at the end of treatment were significant predictors of outcome at follow-up.

Three-Year Outcomes for Maintenance Therapies in Recurrent Depression

Frank E, Kupfer DJ, Perel JM, Cornes C, Jarrett DB, Mallinger AG, Thase ME, McEachran AB, Grochocinski VJ

Archives of General Psychiatry1990; 47:1093—1099

We conducted a randomized 3-year maintenance trial in 128 patients with recurrent depression who had responded to combined short-term and continuation treatment with imipramine hydrochloride and interpersonal psychotherapy. A five-cell design was used to determine whether a maintenance form of interpersonal psychotherapy alone or in combination with medication could play a significant role in the prevention of recurrence. A second question was whether maintaining antidepressant medication at the dosage used to treat the acute episode rather than decreasing to a "maintenance" dosage would provide prophylaxis superior to that observed in earlier trials in which a maintenance dosage strategy was employed. Survival analysis demonstrated a highly significant prophylactic effect for active imipramine hydrochloride maintained at an average dose of 200 mg and a modest prophylactic effect for monthly interpersonal psychotherapy. We conclude that active imipramine hydrochloride maintained at an average dose of 200 mg is an effective means of preventing recurrence and that monthly interpersonal psychotherapy serves to lengthen the time between episodes in patients not receiving active medication.

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