Relapse and recurrence prevention in depression: Current research and future prospects

Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Clinical psychology review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 12/2011; 31(8):1349-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.09.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is a growing body of literature which indicates that acute phases of psychotherapy are often ineffective in preventing relapse and recurrence in major depression. As a result, there is a need to develop and evaluate therapeutic approaches which aim to reduce the risk of relapse. This article provides a review of the empirical studies which have tested the prophylactic effects of therapy (cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness-based, and interpersonal psychotherapy) targeting relapse and recurrence in major depression. For definitional clarity, relapse is defined here as a return to full depressive symptomatology before an individual has reached a full recovery, whereas recurrence in defined as the onset of a new depressive episode after a full recovery has been achieved. Psychotherapeutic efforts to prevent relapse and recurrence in depression have been effective to varying degrees, and a number of variables appear to moderate the success of these approaches. A consistent finding has been that preventive cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based therapies are most effective for patients with three or more previous depressive episodes, and alternative explanations for this finding are discussed. It is noted, however, that a number of methodological limitations exist within this field of research, and so a set of hypotheses that may guide future studies in this area is provided.


Available from: Shadi Beshai, Nov 29, 2014
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    Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 02/2015; 84(2):90-99. DOI:10.1159/000369469 · 9.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Studies suggest that poor physical health might be associated with increased depression and anxiety recurrence. The objectives of this study were to determine whether specific chronic diseases and pain characteristics are associated with depression and anxiety recurrence and to examine whether such associations are mediated by subthreshold depressive or anxiety symptoms. Methods 1122 individuals with remitted depressive or anxiety disorder (Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety) were followed up for a period of four years. The impact of specific chronic diseases and pain characteristics on recurrence was assessed using Cox regression and mediation analyses. Results Chronic diseases were not associated with recurrence. Neck (HR 1.45, p < .01), chest (HR 1.65, p < .01), abdominal (HR 1.52, p < .01) pain, an increase in the number of pain locations (HR 1.10, p < .01) and pain severity (HR 1.18, p = .01) were associated with an increased risk of depression recurrence but not anxiety. Subthreshold depressive symptoms mediated the associations between pain and depression recurrence. Conclusions Pain, not chronic disease, increases the likelihood of depression recurrence, largely through its association with aggravated subthreshold depressive symptoms. These findings support the idea of the existence of a mutually reinforcing mechanism between pain and depression and are indicative of the importance of shedding light on neurobiological links in order to optimize pain and depression management.
    BMC Psychiatry 06/2014; 14(1):187. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-14-187 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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