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J Affect Disord. 2014 Jan;152-154:268-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.09.024. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) for chronic depression: clinical characteristics and six month clinical outcomes in an open case series.

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Division of Neuroscience, Medical Research Institute, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, UK. Electronic address:



Evidence-based guidance on how best to treat chronic depression is limited. Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) has shown some promise with this 'difficult-to-treat' clinical group. This case series was designed to assess the acceptability and utility of this novel treatment in routine clinical practice within the U.K. National Health Service.


We offered an open trial of CBASP to a cohort of 115 referred patients within primary and secondary care. Diagnostic interview and standardised outcome measures were administered before and after 6 months of CBASP with a trained, accredited therapist.


Seventy-four patients entered therapy, with 46 completing. 30% met criteria for remission (≤ 8 HRSD-24 score) and a further 30% met criteria for clinically significant change (> 8 and ≤15 HRSD-24 plus 50% reduction in baseline score). Thirty-nine per cent made "No change". Group measures of quality of life, social functioning and interpersonal functioning also improved.


This was an open study design with a moderate sample size and no control group. Ratings were not completed using a blinded procedure.


CBASP is an acceptable therapy for a large proportion of patients with chronic depression and was associated with clinically significant change in 60% of completers.


CBASP; Case series; Chronic depression; Psychotherapy; Treatment-refractory

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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