Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Psychiatry. 1995 Nov;167(5):653-8.

Long-term effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy and lithium therapy on depression in the elderly.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Human Ageing, University of Liverpool.



We examine the effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) as an adjuvant to acute physical treatment and lithium maintenance therapy in reducing depression severity over a follow-up year in elderly depressed patients.


The study consists of three phases. During the acute treatment and continuation phase, 17 of 31 patients received CBT as an adjuvant to treatment as usual. During the maintenance phase of 1 year, subjects were entered into a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of low-dose lithium therapy.


Receiving adjuvant CBT significantly reduced patients' scores on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression during the follow-up year (repeated measures analyses of variance; P = 0.007). No significant differences were found between lithium and placebo maintenance therapy.


CBT can be adapted as an adjuvant therapy in the treatment of severely depressed elderly patients and reduces depression severity during follow-up. The prophylactic failure of long-term lithium therapy may be explained through poor compliance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk