Group cognitive therapy and alprazolam in the treatment of depression in older adults.
ABSTRACT This study was designed to explore the relative and combined effectiveness of alprazolam (Xanax) and group cognitive therapy among elderly adults experiencing major affective disorder. Fifty-six subjects with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) diagnoses of major, unipolar depression were treated over a 20-week period in one of four groups: alprazolam support, placebo support, cognitive therapy plus placebo support, and cognitive therapy plus alprazolam support. The results revealed that individuals assigned to group cognitive therapy showed consistent improvement in subjective state and sleep efficiency relative to non-group-therapy subjects. No differences between alprazolam and placebo were noted, regardless of whether individuals received group cognitive therapy. Subjects assigned to group cognitive therapy were less likely than their counterparts to prematurely terminate treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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ABSTRACT: Recent reports have criticized the design of antidepressant studies and have questioned their validity. These critics have concluded that antidepressants are no better than placebo treatment and that their illusory superiority depends on methodologically flawed studies and biased clinical evaluations. It has been suggested that the blind in randomized trials is penetrable-since clinician's guesses exceed chance-and that only active placebo can appropriately camouflage the difference between drug and placebo response. Furthermore, evidence has been cited to suggest that psychotherapy is as effective as antidepressants in both the acute and maintenance treatment of depression. These positions are often accepted as valid and have been broadly discussed in both the lay press and scientific literature. The purpose of this review is to reassess the cited data that support these assertions. The authors examined the specific studies that were cited in these reports, evaluated their methodology, and conducted aggregate analyses. Analyses of the original sources failed to substantiate 1) that standard antidepressants are no more effective than placebo, 2) that active placebo offers an advantage over inactive placebo, or 3) that substantial evidence of a medication bias is suggested by raters' treatment guesses exceeding chance. The authors also note that some researchers have suggested that the interpretation of psychotherapy trials can be complicated by "allegiance effects." The issue of bias or allegiance effects for both antidepressant and psychotherapy research is real. Investigators of all orientations must guard against potential bias. However, studies cited as supporting the questionable validity of antidepressant trials fail upon closer examination to support assertions that these trials are invalid.American Journal of Psychiatry 04/2000; 157(3):327-37. · 12.54 Impact Factor
Article: Relative efficacy of psychotherapy and combined therapy in the treatment of depression: a meta-analysis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Reviews of the relative efficacy of psychotherapy and combined therapy (psychotherapy with pharmacotherapy) for depression have yielded contradicting conclusions. This may be explained by the clinical heterogeneity of the studies reviewed. To conduct a meta-analysis with an acceptable level of homogeneity in order to investigate the relative efficacy of psychotherapy and combined therapy in the acute treatment of depression. A systematic search was performed for RCTs published between 1980 and 2005 comparing psychotherapy and combined therapy in adult psychiatric outpatients with non-psychotic unipolar major depressive disorder. The studies were classified according to the chronicity and severity of the depression. Data were pooled by means of meta-analysis and statistical tests were conducted to measure heterogeneity. The meta-analysis included seven studies looking at a total of 903 patients. None of the heterogeneity tests established significance. This indicates a lack of evidence for the heterogeneity of the results. The dropout rates did not differ significantly between the two treatment modalities (25% in combined therapy and 24% in psychotherapy, p=0.77). At treatment termination, the intention-to-treat remission rate for combined therapy (46%) was better than for psychotherapy (34%) (p=0.0007); Relative Risk 1.32 (95% CI: 1.12-1.56), Odds Ratio 1.59 (95% CI: 1.22-2.09). In moderate depression, the difference between the remission rate for combined therapy and psychotherapy was statistically significant (47% compared to 34% respectively, p=0.001). This was not the case in mild major depression (42% compared to 37% respectively, p=0.29). The difference was also statistically significant in chronic major depression (48% compared to 32%, p<0.001), but not in non-chronic major depression (43% compared to 37%, p=0.22). On a more specific level, no differences were found in the remission rates for the treatment modalities in mild or moderate non-chronic depression. Combined therapy led to significantly better results than psychotherapy in moderate chronic depression only (48% compared to 32%, p<0.001). In the acute treatment of adult psychiatric outpatients with major depressive disorder, patient compliance with combined therapy matches compliance with psychotherapy alone. Combined therapy is more efficacious than psychotherapy alone. However, these results depend on severity and chronicity. Combined therapy outperformed psychotherapy in moderate chronic depression only. No differences were found in mild and moderate non-chronic depression. No data were found for mild chronic depression and for severe depression.European Psychiatry 02/2007; 22(1):1-8. · 2.77 Impact Factor
Article: Treatment of Atypical Depression With Cognitive Therapy or Phenelzine: A Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background: Patients with a typical depression are more likely to respond to monoamine oxidase inhibitors than to tricyclic antidepressants. They are frequently offered psychotherapy in the absence of controlled tests. There are no prospective, randomized, controlled trials, to our knowledge, of psychotherapy for atypical depression or of cognitive therapy compared with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Since there is only 1 placebo-controlled trial of cognitive therapy, this trial fills a gap in the literature on psychotherapy for depression.Methods: Outpatients with DSM-III-R major depressive disorder and atypical features (N = 108) were treated in a 10-week, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial comparing acute-phase cognitive therapy or clinical management plus either phenelzine sulfate or placebo. Atypical features were defined as reactive mood plus at least 2 additional symptoms: hypersomnia, hyperphagia, leaden paralysis, or lifetime sensitivity to rejection.Results: With the use of an intention-to-treat strategy, the response rates (21-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score, </=9) were significantly greater after cognitive therapy (58%) and phenelzine (58%) than after pill placebo (28%). Phenelzine and cognitive therapy also reduced symptoms significantly more than placebo according to contrasts after a repeated-measures analysis of covariance and random regression with the use of the blind evaluator's final Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score. The scores between cognitive therapy and phenelzine did not differ significantly. Supplemental analyses of other symptom severity measures confirm the finding.Conclusions: Cognitive therapy may offer an effective alternative to standard acute-phase treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor for outpatients with major depressive disorder and atypical features.Archives of General Psychiatry 11/2000; 57(11):1084. · 12.02 Impact Factor