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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 17;9(6):e100100. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100100. eCollection 2014.

Behavioural activation for depression; an update of meta-analysis of effectiveness and sub group analysis.

Author information

1
Durham University/Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Medicine, Pharmacy & Health, Durham University, Stockton on Tees, United Kingdom.
2
Department of Medicine, Pharmacy & Health, Durham University, Stockton on Tees, United Kingdom.
3
Department of Clinical Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
School of Medicine, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.
5
Hull York Medical School and Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Depression is a common, disabling condition for which psychological treatments are recommended. Behavioural activation has attracted increased interest in recent years. It has been over 5 years since our meta-analyses summarised the evidence supporting and this systematic review updates those findings and examines moderators of treatment effect.

METHOD:

Randomised trials of behavioural activation for depression versus controls or anti-depressant medication were identified using electronic database searches, previous reviews and reference lists. Data on symptom level and study level moderators were extracted and analysed using meta-analysis, sub-group analysis and meta-regression respectively.

RESULTS:

Twenty six randomised controlled trials including 1524 subjects were included in this meta-analysis. A random effects meta-analysis of symptom level post treatment showed behavioural activation to be superior to controls (SMD -0.74 CI -0.91 to -0.56, k = 25, N = 1088) and medication (SMD -0.42 CI -0.83 to-0.00, k = 4, N = 283). Study quality was low in the majority of studies and follow- up time periods short. There was no indication of publication bias and subgroup analysis showed limited association between moderators and effect size.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results in this meta-analysis support and strengthen the evidence base indicating Behavioural Activation is an effective treatment for depression. Further high quality research with longer term follow-up is needed to strengthen the evidence base.

PMID:
24936656
PMCID:
PMC4061095
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0100100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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