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Can Fam Physician. 2009 Aug;55(8):789-96.

Brief interventions for depression in primary care: a systematic review.

Author information

1
c/o Royal Victoria Hospital, 201 Georgian Dr, Barrie, ON L4M 6M2. mcnaughtonjl@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess existing, brief nonpharmacologic interventions that are available for primary care physicians with minimal training in psychotherapy to use in managing depression in adult patients.

DATA SOURCES:

MEDLINE was searched from 1996 to 2007, EMBASE was searched from 1980 to 2007, and EBM Reviews was searched from 1999 to 2007.

STUDY SELECTION:

Several randomized controlled trials were selected using specified criteria. Selected articles were subsequently appraised and qualitatively analyzed.

SYNTHESIS:

Significant improvements on depression scales were found in 6 out of 8 studies (P < .05) using various brief interventions and formal control groups. Successful interventions included bibliotherapy, websites based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and CBT-based computer programs. Completion rates were highest when interventions were shorter, more structured, and included frequent contact or reminders from study staff. Validity limitations included small sample sizes, non-blinding of studies, and an uncertain degree of generalizability.

CONCLUSION:

Bibliotherapy, CBT-based websites, and CBT-based computer programs might be effective in assisting primary care physicians who have minimal training in psychotherapy in treating adult patients with depression. Health care personnel contact with patients undergoing these interventions might result in increased effectiveness. Future research is warranted in this area, and despite several limitations, findings from this study could help guide efforts in the development and evaluation of such research.

PMID:
19675262
PMCID:
PMC2726093
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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