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Behav Ther. 2010 Jun;41(2):229-36. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2009.03.002. Epub 2010 Jan 6.

Evaluating the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral teletherapy in depressed adults.

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  • 1Brigham Young University, USA.


Telephone psychotherapy is an emerging form of delivery of care that has recently demonstrated utility and efficacy for adult depression when provided as an adjunct to antidepressant treatment in primary care trials. This study constitutes one of the initial evaluations of cognitive behavioral therapy-telephone treatment (CBT-TT) as a stand-alone treatment for adult depression in specialty care. Thirty adults initiating psychotherapy for depression at a mental health clinic participated in the trial. The majority of participants (69%) were very satisfied with the 8-session CBT-TT, reduction in depression severity was significant over 3 and 6 months, and 42% of participants were considered recovered at termination. These outcomes closely parallel the findings from an earlier primary care trial, despite specialty care participants beginning treatment with more severe depression and without adjunctive antidepressant medication. These findings suggest that CBT-TT for adult depression is feasible and has potential as a stand-alone treatment. Implementation of this telephone-based delivery approach in primary and specialty care settings is discussed.

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