Psychological therapies versus antidepressant medication, alone and in combination for depression in children and adolescents

Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Locked Bag 10, 35 Poplar Road, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3054.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 5.94). 01/2012; 11(11):CD008324. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008324.pub2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Depressive disorders are common in children and adolescents and, if left untreated, are likely to recur in adulthood. Depression is highly debilitating, affecting psychosocial, family and academic functioning. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of psychological therapies and antidepressant medication, alone and in combination, for the treatment of depressive disorder in children and adolescents. We have examined clinical outcomes including remission, clinician and self reported depression measures, and suicide-related outcomes. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Review Group's Specialised Register (CCDANCTR) to 11 November 2011. This register contains reports of relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE (1950 to date), EMBASE (1974 to date), and PsycINFO (1967 to date). SELECTION CRITERIA: RCTs were eligible for inclusion if they compared i) any psychological therapy with any antidepressant medication, or ii) a combination of psychological therapy and antidepressant medication with a psychological therapy alone, or an antidepressant medication alone, or iii) a combination of psychological therapy and antidepressant medication with a placebo or 'treatment as usual', or (iv) a combination of psychological therapy and antidepressant medication with a psychological therapy or antidepressant medication plus a placebo.We included studies if they involved participants aged between 6 and 18 years, diagnosed by a clinician as having Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) or International Classification of Diseases (ICD) criteria. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently selected studies, extracted data and assessed the quality of the studies. We applied a random-effects meta-analysis, using the odds ratio (OR) to describe dichotomous outcomes, mean difference (MD) to describe continuous outcomes when the same measures were used, and standard mean difference (SMD) when outcomes were measured on different scales. MAIN RESULTS: We included ten studies, involving 1235 participants in this review. Studies recruited participants with different severities of disorder and with a variety of comorbid disorders, including anxiety and substance use disorder, therefore limiting the comparability of the results. Regarding the risk of bias in studies, half the studies had adequate allocation concealment (there was insufficient information to determine allocation concealment in the remainder), outcome assessors were blind to the participants' intervention in six studies, and in general, studies reported on incomplete data analysis methods, mainly using intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses. For the majority of outcomes there were no statistically significant differences between the interventions compared. There was limited evidence (based on two studies involving 220 participants) that antidepressant medication was more effective than psychotherapy on measures of clinician defined remission immediately post-intervention (odds ratio (OR) 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27 to 0.98), with 67.8% of participants in the medication group and 53.7% in the psychotherapy group rated as being in remission. There was limited evidence (based on three studies involving 378 participants) that combination therapy was more effective than antidepressant medication alone in achieving higher remission from a depressive episode immediately post-intervention (OR 1.56, 95% CI 0.98 to 2.47), with 65.9% of participants treated with combination therapy and 57.8% of participants treated with medication, rated as being in remission. There was no evidence to suggest that combination therapy was more effective than psychological therapy alone, based on clinician rated remission immediately post-intervention (OR 1.82, 95% CI 0.38 to 8.68).Suicide-related Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) were reported in various ways across studies and could not be combined in meta-analyses. However suicidal ideation specifically was generally measured and reported using standardised assessment tools suitable for meta-analysis. In one study involving 188 participants, rates of suicidal ideation were significantly higher in the antidepressant medication group (18.6%) compared with the psychological therapy group (5.4%) (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.72) and this effect appeared to remain at six to nine months (OR 1.27, 95% CI 0.68 to 2.36), with 13.6% of participants in the medication group and 3.9% of participants in the psychological therapy group reporting suicidal ideation. It was unclear what the effect of combination therapy was compared with either antidepressant medication alone or psychological therapy alone on rates of suicidal ideation. The impact of any of the assigned treatment packages on drop out was also mostly unclear across the various comparisons in the review.Limited data and conflicting results based on other outcome measures make it difficult to draw conclusions regarding the effectiveness of any specific intervention based on these outcomes. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is very limited evidence upon which to base conclusions about the relative effectiveness of psychological interventions, antidepressant medication and a combination of these interventions. On the basis of the available evidence, the effectiveness of these interventions for treating depressive disorders in children and adolescents cannot be established. Further appropriately powered RCTs are required.

  • Source
    • "interventions in depressed youth (Cox et al., 2012). However, despite the fact that pharmacological treatments of mild to moderate adolescent MDD have not shown significant treatment effects and may introduce both short-and potential long-term negative side effects (Hetrick et al., 2007; Adegbite-Adeniyi et al., 2012), 14.1% of adolescents with primary mood disorders are treated with antidepressant medication in the U.S. (Merikangas et al., 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the current leading causes of disability worldwide. Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the onset of depression, with MDD affecting 8–20% of all youth. Traditional treatment methods have not been sufficiently effective to slow the increasing prevalence of adolescent depression. We therefore propose a new model for the treatment of adolescent depression – Training for Awareness, Resilience, and Action (TARA) – that is based on current understanding of developmental and depression neurobiology. The TARA model is aligned with the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) of the National Institute of Mental Health. In this article, we first address the relevance of RDoC to adolescent depression. Second, we identify the major RDoC domains of function involved in adolescent depression and organize them in a way that gives priority to domains thought to be driving the psychopathology. Third, we select therapeutic training strategies for TARA based on current scientific evidence of efficacy for the prioritized domains of function in a manner that maximizes time, resources, and feasibility. The TARA model takes into consideration the developmental limitation in top-down cognitive control in adolescence and promotes bottom-up strategies such as vagal afference to decrease limbic hyperactivation and its secondary effects. The program has been informed by mindfulness-based therapy and yoga, as well as modern psychotherapeutic techniques.The treatment program is semi-manualized, progressive, and applied in a module-based approach designed for a group setting that is to be conducted one session per week for 12 weeks. We hope that this work may form the basis for a novel and more effective treatment strategy for adolescent depression, as well as broaden the discussion on how to address this challenge.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 08/2014; 8:1. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00630 · 2.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Depressive disorders often begin during childhood or adolescence. There is a growing body of evidence supporting effective treatments during the acute phase of a depressive disorder. However, little is known about treatments for preventing relapse or recurrence of depression once an individual has achieved remission or recovery from their symptoms. OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy of early interventions, including psychological and pharmacological interventions, to prevent relapse or recurrence of depressive disorders in children and adolescents. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Review Group's Specialised Register (CCDANCTR) (to 1 June 2011). The CCDANCTR contains reports of relevant randomised controlled trials from The Cochrane Library (all years), EMBASE (1974 to date), MEDLINE (1950 to date) and PsycINFO (1967 to date). In addition we handsearched the references of all included studies and review articles. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials using a psychological or pharmacological intervention, with the aim of preventing relapse or recurrence from an episode of major depressive disorder (MDD) or dysthymic disorder (DD) in children and adolescents were included. Participants were required to have been diagnosed with MDD or DD according to DSM or ICD criteria, using a standardised and validated assessment tool. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed all trials for inclusion in the review, extracted trial and outcome data, and assessed trial quality. Results for dichotomous outcomes are expressed as odds ratio and continuous measures as mean difference or standardised mean difference. We combined results using random-effects meta-analyses, with 95% confidence intervals. We contacted lead authors of included trials and requested additional data where possible. MAIN RESULTS: Nine trials with 882 participants were included in the review. In five trials the outcome assessors were blind to the participants' intervention condition and in the remainder of trials it was unclear. In the majority of trials, participants were either not blind to their intervention condition, or it was unclear whether they were or not. Allocation concealment was also unclear in the majority of trials. Although all trials treated participants in an outpatient setting, the designs implemented in trials was diverse, which limits the generalisability of the results. Three trials indicated participants treated with antidepressant medication had lower relapse-recurrence rates (40.9%) compared to those treated with placebo (66.6%) during a relapse prevention phase (odds ratio (OR) 0.34; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.18 to 0.64, P = 0.02). One trial that compared a combination of psychological therapy and medication to medication alone favoured a combination approach over medication alone, however this result did not reach statistical significance (OR 0.26; 95% CI 0.06 to 1.15). The majority of trials that involved antidepressant medication reported adverse events including suicide-related behaviours. However, there were not enough data to show which treatment approach results in the most favourable adverse event profile. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Currently, there is little evidence to conclude which type of treatment approach is most effective in preventing relapse or recurrence of depressive episodes in children and adolescents. Limited trials found that antidepressant medication reduces the chance of relapse-recurrence in the future, however, there is considerable diversity in the design of trials, making it difficult to compare outcomes across studies. Some of the research involving psychological therapies is encouraging, however at present more trials with larger sample sizes need to be conducted in order to explore this treatment approach further.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 01/2012; 11(11):CD007504. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD007504.pub2 · 5.94 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hintergrund Depression beschreibt eine psychische Störung mit stark beeinträchtigenden Symptomen (z. B. erhöhte Suizidalität), die auch im Kindes- und Jugendalter eine hohe Prävalenzrate aufweist und häufig einen chronischen Verlauf zeigt. Sowohl die kognitive Verhaltenstherapie (KVT) als auch die interpersonelle Therapie stellen derzeit nach diversen Leitlinien die Therapien der ersten Wahl dar. Ziel der Arbeit Die aktuelle Studienlage bezüglich kognitiv-verhaltenstherapeutischer und interpersoneller Gruppentherapieverfahren zur Behandlung von Depressionen im Kindes- und Jugendalter sollte dargestellt werden. Die gängigsten Therapieprogramme werden in übersichtlicher Form erläutert. Material und Methode Die Literaturrecherche (PsycInfo, Psyndex, Pubmed) lieferte 280 Treffer. Nach Durchsicht der Titel und Abstracts konnten 25 Studien in die vorliegende Arbeit aufgenommen werden. Ergebnisse Wirksamkeitsnachweise existieren v. a. für englischsprachige kognitiv-verhaltenstherapeutische Gruppentherapieprogramme (Effektstärken zwischen 0,02 und 1,34) und nur wenige für die interpersonelle Gruppentherapie. Für den deutschen Sprachraum liegen wenige Studien zu kognitiv-verhaltenstherapeutischen Gruppentherapien und gemäß dem Wissen der Autoren keine zur interpersonellen Gruppentherapie vor. Schlussfolgerung Die Wirksamkeit von Gruppentherapieverfahren zur Behandlung von depressiven Kindern und Jugendlichen sollte v. a. im deutschsprachigen Raum weiterführend untersucht werden.
    Psychotherapeut 01/2013; 59(1). DOI:10.1007/s00278-013-1026-0 · 0.78 Impact Factor
Show more