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[Efficacy of psychodynamic short-term psychotherapy for children and adolescents with depression].

[Article in German]

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Forschungsprojekt wurde gefördert von der Forschungskommission der Medizinischen Fakultät Heidelberg.


Depression is highly prevalent in children and adolescents. Psychodynamic therapies are only insufficiently evaluated in this field although many children and adolescents suffering from depression are treated using this approach. Therefore, the aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of psychodynamic short-term psychotherapy (PSTP) for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents. In a waiting-list controlled study, 20 children and adolescents fulfilling diagnosis of major depression or dysthymia were included. The treatment group received 25 sessions of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Main outcome criterion was the Impairment-Score for Children and Adolescents (IS-CA) as well as the Psychic and Social-Communicative Findings Sheet for Children and Adolescents (PSCFS-CA) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), which were assessed at the beginning and the end of treatment. The statistical and clinical significance of changes in these measures were evaluated. There was a significant advantage of the treatment group compared to the waiting group for the IS-CA. The effect size of the IS-CA total score was 1,3. In contrast to the treatment group, where 20% of the children showed clinically significant and reliable improvement, no subject in the waiting-list control group met this criterion. Comparable results were found for the PSCFS-CA and for the internalising score assessed with the CBCL. The results show that psychodynamic short-term psychotherapy (PSTP) is an effective treatment for depressed children and adolescents. Still, some of the children surely require more intensive treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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