The effects of once- versus twice-weekly sessions on psychotherapy outcomes in depressed patients
Number of pages
SourceBritish Journal of Psychiatry, 216, 4, (2020), pp. 222-230
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
British Journal of Psychiatry
SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Background: It is unclear what session frequency is most effective in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for depression. Aims: Compare the effects of once weekly and twice weekly sessions of CBT and IPT for depression. Method: We conducted a multicentre randomised trial from November 2014 through December 2017. We recruited 200 adults with depression across nine specialised mental health centres in the Netherlands. This study used a 2 x 2 factorial design, randomising patients to once or twice weekly sessions of CBT or IPT over 16-24 weeks, up to a maximum of 20 sessions. Main outcome measures were depression severity, measured with the Beck Depression Inventory-II at baseline, before session 1, and 2 weeks, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 months after start of the intervention. Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted. Results: Compared with patients who received weekly sessions, patients who received twice weekly sessions showed a statistically significant decrease in depressive symptoms (estimated mean difference between weekly and twice weekly sessions at month 6: 3.85 points, difference in effect size d = 0.55), lower attrition rates (n = 16 compared with n = 32) and an increased rate of response (hazard ratio 1.48, 95% CI 1.00-2.18). Conclusions: In clinical practice settings, delivery of twice weekly sessions of CBT and IPT for depression is a way to improve depression treatment outcomes.
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