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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005 Aug;73(4):647-57.

Preventing relapse/recurrence in recurrent depression with cognitive therapy: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.


This article reports on the outcome of a randomized controlled trial of cognitive group therapy (CT) to prevent relapse/recurrence in a group of high-risk patients diagnosed with recurrent depression. Recurrently depressed patients (N = 187) currently in remission following various types of treatment were randomized to treatment as usual, including continuation of pharmacotherapy, or to treatment as usual augmented with brief CT. Relapse/recurrence to major depression was assessed over 2 years. Augmenting treatment as usual with CT resulted in a significant protective effect, which intensified with the number of previous depressive episodes experienced. For patients with 5 or more previous episodes (41% of the sample), CT reduced relapse/recurrence from 72% to 46%. Our findings extend the accumulating evidence that cognitive interventions following remission can be useful in preventing relapse/recurrence in patients with recurrent depression.

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