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J Clin Psychiatry. 1997 Jun;58(6):278-82; quiz 283-4.

Cognitive-behavioral management of drug-resistant major depressive disorder.

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  • 1Affective Disorders Program, University of Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The application of cognitive-behavioral treatment to drug-resistant major depression has received little research attention.

METHOD:

Nineteen patients who failed to respond to at least two trials of antidepressant drugs of adequate dosages and duration were treated by cognitive-behavioral methods in an open trial.

RESULTS:

Three patients dropped out of treatment. The remaining 16 patients displayed a significant (p < .001) decrease in scores on the Clinical Interview for Depression after therapy. Twelve patients were judged to be in remission at the end of the trial; only 1 of these patients was found to have relapsed at a 2-year follow-up. Antidepressant drugs were discontinued in 8 of the 12 patients who responded to cognitive-behavioral treatment.

CONCLUSION:

These preliminary results suggest that a trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy by an experienced therapist should be performed before labeling an episode of major depression as "refractory" or "treatment resistant." These latter terms should apply only when a psychotherapeutic effort has been made. Until then, it seems more appropriate to define depression as "drug refractory" or "drug treatment resistant."

PMID:
9228899
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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