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J Abnorm Psychol. 1999 Feb;108(1):3-10.

Differential cognitive response to a mood challenge following successful cognitive therapy or pharmacotherapy for unipolar depression.

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  • 1Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This study examined the nature of cognitive reactivity to mood changes in formerly depressed patients. Patients who recovered either through cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT; N = 25) or through pharmacotherapy (PT; N = 29) completed self-reported ratings of dysfunctional attitudes before and after a negative mood induction procedure. In response to similar levels of induced sad mood, PT patients showed a significant increase in dysfunctional cognitions compared with patients in the CBT group. To evaluate the effects of such cognitive reactivity on the subsequent course of depression, follow-up analyses reassessed 30 patients several years after initial testing. Results indicated that patients' reactions to the mood induction procedure were predictive of depressive relapse. These findings argue for differential effects of treatment on cognitive reactivity to mood induction and for the link between such reactivity and risk for later depressive relapse.

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