Searching for articles comparing efficacy of CBT versus other forms of treatment
March 20, 2011 7:37 AM   Subscribe

I wanted to give someone a link to a paper comparing the efficacy of CBT versus other methods for treating depression, but I can't find it in my bookmarks. Could someone follow up with links/a link comparing the efficacies of treatments for depression?

I do have this paper from 2005 bookmarked, Cognitive Therapy vs Medications in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Depression, but I thought I had something more recent to point to. and actually, I thought I had a link to a comparison of more than two types of treatments.
posted by bleary to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't point to a link, but I've seen studies that show that it is on par with traditional psychotherapy in effectiveness, and much cheaper in time and effort. Psychotherapy means digging back and finding some cause of the depression, and then working back forward, rebuilding memories and perceptions based on this newfound understanding. Where CBT says (simplified) "it doesn't matter, the point is it is affecting you now and here is how you reframe your thought processes to eliminate its effects."

Perhaps some of that can give you different ways to search what you are looking for?

I think you might find that it really isn't an either-or proposition, though. It depends on the individual manifestation of the disease more than it does on efficacy rates. Everyone's manifestation of the disease needs a slightly different approach. Sometimes an individual may need medication to temporarily augment other approaches.

I also think I saw somewhere that CBT is thought to have better results for long term maintenance and preventing re-occurrence than medication or psychotherapy. In part, I think, because it empowers the individual more than other methods. That it makes the individual aware that the disease has multiple vectors, and that their own thought patterns are one of the vectors.
posted by gjc at 7:54 AM on March 20, 2011

This isn't more recent (similar date), but it is a really neat study showing brain changes for antidepressants vs CBT, sometimes showing overlap and/or different parts of the brain modulated in terms of activity. The author postulates an interestnig hypothesis as to possible advantages of using CBT vs antidepressants, especially for suicidal patients.Warning: I gave this to senior level biology students to read a few years ago, and they had a very difficult time wrapping their heads around it. Maybe have the person listen to an explanation on NPR instead

Links to a few more recent meta-analysis exploring the topic

Google scholar is your friend, you can also limit the search by date; 95% of what will appear should be from peer-reviewed journal articles.
posted by Wolfster at 10:15 AM on March 20, 2011

I would take a look at Britain's NHS sites. The British are putting a lot of money into CBT. You can google the BBC and CBT and get some interesting links. I found this site via a BBC link, giving guidance on when to use various therapies.
posted by PickeringPete at 10:18 AM on March 20, 2011

Further to my earlier post, you will find some interesting stuff in the Lancet mentioned in various papers but I think you have to pay for the articles.
posted by PickeringPete at 10:21 AM on March 20, 2011

I know it's been quite some time since you asked this question, but I just wanted to point you to a very excellent meta-analysis by Dr. Pim Cuijpers, a clinical psychologist who does tons and tons of meta-analyses concerning depression in particular, suggesting that current evidence does not convincingly prove that any particular psychotherapy tested in RCTs for mild-to-moderate depression is over-and-above more effective than any other... the analysis actually suggests that interpersonal psychotherapy may be mildly more effective on average (with a Hedges' G=.20 advantage).
posted by Keter at 11:29 AM on May 16, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks. I see that Dr. Pim Cuijpers links to which makes the metaanalysis data available.
posted by bleary at 6:14 PM on May 16, 2011

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