[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Discrepancies between scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), as well as differences regarding their sensitivity to detect change, have been reported. This study investigates discrepancies and their potential prediction on the basis of demographic, personality, and clinical factors in depressed inpatients and analyzes the sensitivity to change. The HAMD and the BDI were administered to 105 inpatients with major depressive disorder randomized to 5weeks of either interpersonal psychotherapy or clinical management. Personality was assessed with the NEO Five-Factor Inventory. Low extraversion and high neuroticism were associated with relatively higher endorsement of depressive symptoms on the BDI compared with the HAMD. The HAMD presented a greater reduction of symptom scores than the BDI. Patients with high BDI scores, high HAMD scores or both revealed the greatest change, possibly due to a statistical effect of regression to the mean. Restricted by sample size, analyses were not differentiated by treatment condition. Regression to the mean cannot be tested directly, but it might be considered as a possible explanation. The HAMD and the BDI should be regarded as two complementary rather than redundant or competing instruments as the discrepancy is associated with personality characteristics. Attributing large effect sizes solely to effective treatment and a sensitive measure may be misleading.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: There is a lack of research about the extent
to which common factors influence the effectiveness of
psychotherapies in the treatment of chronic depression:
Which common factors differentiate between successful
and less-successful psychotherapies in chronically depressed
patients? Patients and Methods: Using the Bern
Post Session Report (BPSR) for patients and therapists,
the common factors in the treatment of 29 chronically
depressed patients have been evaluated during the 16-
week treatment with either the Cognitive Behavioral
Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) or with Interpersonal
Psychotherapy (IPT). The primary efficacy
outcome measure was the score on the 24-item Hamilton
Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD-24). Results: Significant
differences were found on the patient-rated subscales
‘clarification’ (p = 0.02) and ‘mastery’ (p = 0.01)
when comparing successful with less-successful (response
defined as a 50% reduction in HRSD-24 score)
therapies. However, analysis of variance showed no significant
difference in common factors between CBASP
and IPT therapies. Discussion: Independent of the therapeutic
approach, the impact of the common efficacy factors
clarification and mastery for successful treatment of
chronically depressed patients has been confirmed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A common condition in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is unawareness of deficits. Different concepts try to elucidate the nature of this symptom. An essential question relates to the interaction of organic and psychogenic factors. Here we present a patient who displayed her cognitive deficits as attention-seeking behaviour. There was a history of histrionic personality disorder according to ICD-10 criteria. Unexpectedly, the final diagnosis after extensive diagnostic work-up was AD. The unusual coincidence of AD and a histrionic personality disorder hampered the clinical process of diagnosing dementia. We discuss unawareness as a complex concept incorporating neuroanatomical, psychiatric, and psychosocial aspects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The only psychotherapy specifically designed and evaluated for the treatment of chronic depression, the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), has never been directly compared to another depression-specific psychological method.
Thirty patients with early-onset chronic depression were randomized to 22 sessions of CBASP or Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) provided in 16 weeks. Primary outcome was the score on the 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) assessed posttreatment by an independent blinded evaluator. Secondary endpoints were, among others, remission (HRSD≤8) rates and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The study included a prospective naturalistic 12-month follow-up.
Intent-to-treat analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that there was no significant difference in posttreatment HRSD scores between the CBASP and the IPT condition, but in self-rated BDI scores. We found significantly higher remission rates in the CBASP (57%) as compared to the IPT (20%) group. One year posttreatment, no significant differences were found in the self-reported symptom level (BDI) using ANCOVA.
The study used only a small sample size and no placebo control. The generalizability of the results may be limited to patients with a preference for psychological treatment.
While the primary outcome was not significant, secondary measures showed relevant benefits of CBASP over IPT. We found preliminary evidence that in early-onset chronic depression, an approach specifically designed for this patient population was superior to a method originally developed for the treatment of acute depressive episodes. Long-term results suggest that chronically depressed patients may need extended treatment courses.
Journal of affective disorders 03/2011; 129(1-3):109-16. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluation of the long-term benefits of combined pharmacological and psychotherapeutic depression treatment and the differential impact of early childhood trauma.
A randomized trial was conducted in 124 in-patients with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder comparing 5 weeks of interpersonal psychotherapy plus pharmacotherapy (IPT) with medication plus clinical management (CM). The study included a prospective, naturalistic follow-up 3, 12 and 75 months after in-patient treatment. The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) served as the primary outcome measure.
Patients in both treatments reduced their depressive symptoms between baseline and 5-year follow-up significantly with a faster decrease early in the follow-up phase. The time rate of change and acceleration on the HRSD was higher for patients in the combination therapy group. The contrast between the conditions at year 5 was non-significant. However, 28% of the IPT patients showed a sustained remission compared with 11% of the CM patients (P = 0.032). Early adversity was found to be a moderator of the relationship between treatment and outcome.
In the long-term, a combination of psycho- and pharmacotherapy was superior in terms of sustained remission rates to standard psychiatric treatment. Early trauma should be assessed routinely in depressed patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poor theory of mind (ToM) performance has been found in patients with mood disorders, but it has not been examined in the subgroup of chronic depression where ToM deficits may be even more persistent than in acute depressive episodes. The aim of this study was to compare the ToM performance of chronically depressed patients with a healthy control group and to clarify the relation of ToM to other cognitive functions.
ToM performance was assessed in 30 chronically depressed patients and 30 matched healthy controls by two cartoon picture story tests. In addition, logical memory, alertness, and executive functioning were evaluated.
Chronically depressed patients were markedly impaired in all ToM- and neuropsychological tasks compared to healthy controls. Performance in the different ToM tests was significantly correlated with at least one other cognitive variable. After controlling for logical memory and working memory, no ToM tasks predicted being a patient.
Patients with chronic depression present significant deficits in "reading" social interactions, which may be associated with general cognitive impairments.
Depression and Anxiety 09/2010; 27(9):821-8. · 4.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional Memory and Attention Disorder (FMD) is regularly seen in patients presenting in psychosomatic or memory clinics. The aim of this study was the evaluation of a novel group therapy for FMD in a randomized controlled trial.
40 FMD patients were randomly assigned to either the experimental (EG) or the wait-list control group (CG). Out of these 35/31 were analysed (intent to treat vs. observed cases respectively). The intervention consisted of psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, stress management, relaxation and mindfulness techniques. Data were collected at baseline, three months (post-intervention) and six months (follow-up). Primary outcome was the memory self-efficacy measure of the Metamemory in Adulthood Questionnaire (MSE). Secondary outcomes were the sum scores of the Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ) and the SCL-90-R.
The EG showed a significantly higher improvement on MSE at follow-up than the CG. No significant group differences emerged on PSQ or SCL-90-R. The CG showed stable MSE scores during the waiting period without intervention. However, after the CG received their therapy the same pattern on MSE scores as seen in the EG emerged.
This study provides preliminary evidence for an improvement of memory self efficacy in FMD through a newly devised group therapy program consisting of different modules. This result ought to be replicated in larger studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The full response to antidepressant pharmacotherapy is evident only after several weeks, but considerable improvements may already be visible within the first two weeks. Little is known about the potential influence of additional psychotherapy on the speed of response to antidepressant treatment. We have analysed in more severely depressed inpatients treated with antidepressants i) the predictive value of early improvement for later response and ii) the impact of additional psychotherapy on the time course of response.
124 patients with a major depression referred for hospitalized care were randomized to 5 weeks of sertraline (or amitriptyline as a second choice) plus either additional Interpersonal Psychotherapy modified for inpatients (IPT) or Clinical Management (CM). "Improvement" was defined as a decrease of > or = 20% on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD). "Onset of response" was defined as sustained improvement (without any subsequent increase in the HAMD) culminating in 50% decrease on the HAMD by week 5.
Early improvement within two weeks was highly predictive of later stable response (> or = 50% decrease on the HAMD at weeks 4 and 5) or stable remission (HAMD score of < or = 7 at weeks 4 and 5), irrespective of the type of medication or additional IPT or CM. Survival analysis of the ITT sample revealed that patients of the IPT group had a shorter time to "onset of response" than patients in the CM group (median: 12 vs. 30 days; p=0.041, Log Rank). However, there was no significant difference in the time to onset of response, when more stringent conditions were used.
Due to ethical restrictions a comparison with an untreated placebo group could not be performed.
Early improvement is highly predictive for later stable response or remission in more severely depressed inpatients. In combination therapy, the additional benefit of psychotherapy occurs at least as rapid as the response to antidepressants.
Journal of affective disorders 10/2008; 114(1-3):243-53. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical guidelines recommend the combination of pharmaco- and psychotherapy for the treatment of chronic depression, although there are only a few studies supporting an additive effect of psychotherapy.
Forty-five inpatients with a chronic Major Depressive Disorder were randomized to 5 weeks of either Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) modified for an inpatient setting (15 individual and 8 group sessions) plus pharmacotherapy or to medication plus Clinical Management (CM). The 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression was the primary outcome measure. The study included a prospective naturalistic follow-up, 3- and 12-months after discharge.
Intent-to-treat analyses revealed a significantly greater reduction of depressive symptoms as well as better global functioning of patients treated with IPT compared to the CM group at week 5. Response and sustained response rates differed significantly between the two treatment conditions, favouring the IPT group. Remission rates were considerably higher for IPT patients who completed the treatment (67% vs. 32%). Patients who initially responded to IPT exhibited greater treatment gains at 12 months since only 7% of these subjects relapsed compared with 25% of the CM subjects. In the long-term, additional IPT led to a lower symptom level and higher global functioning.
The study uses data of a subset of patients from a larger trial. Both treatment groups did not receive comparable amounts of therapeutic attention. Extrapolating the data from this inpatient study to chronically depressed outpatients may not be possible.
Intensive combined treatment provides superior acute and long-term effects over standard treatment in chronically depressed inpatients.
Journal of Affective Disorders 08/2008; 109(1-2):65-73. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article was to determine the relative efficacy of a psychotherapy program when combined with pharmacotherapy versus medication and clinical management in more severely depressed patients.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 124 hospitalized patients with DSM-IV major depressive disorder that compared 5 weeks of interpersonal psychotherapy modified for depressed inpatients (15 individual and eight group sessions) plus pharmacotherapy with a regimen that involved medication plus intensive clinical management. The study included a prospective, naturalistic follow-up 3 and 12 months after acute treatment in 97 of 105 treatment completers. The 17-item version of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) was the primary outcome measure.
For the intent-to-treat cohort (N=124), analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) showed that patients treated with interpersonal psychotherapy had a significantly greater reduction of depressive symptoms at week 5. Response rates differed significantly between the two treatment conditions, favoring the group that received adjuvant interpersonal psychotherapy (70%) versus clinical management (51%). Remission rates also tended to be higher for patients in the interpersonal psychotherapy group (49% versus 34%). Patients who initially responded to interpersonal psychotherapy exhibited greater treatment gains at the 3-month follow-up evaluation, since only 3% of these subjects relapsed, compared with 25% of the clinical management subjects. Nine months later, this difference lost statistical significance.
An inpatient treatment program with both brief and intensive psychotherapy plus pharmacotherapy is superior to standard treatment. The results, which add to a growing body of evidence, suggest that this combination treatment may offer an advantage over treatment with medication and clinical management for more severely depressed patients.
American Journal of Psychiatry 06/2007; 164(5):768-77. · 14.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study of semantic memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has raised important questions about the representation of conceptual knowledge in the human brain. It is still unknown whether semantic memory impairments are caused by localized damage to specialized regions or by diffuse damage to distributed representations within nonspecialized brain areas. To our knowledge, there have been no direct correlations of neuroimaging of in vivo brain function in AD with performance on tasks differentially addressing visual and functional knowledge of living and nonliving concepts. We used a semantic verification task and resting 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in a group of mild to moderate AD patients to investigate this issue. The four task conditions required semantic knowledge of (1) visual, (2) functional properties of living objects, and (3) visual or (4) functional properties of nonliving objects. Visual property verification of living objects was significantly correlated with left posterior fusiform gyrus metabolism (Brodmann's area [BA] 37/19). Effects of visual and functional property verification for non-living objects largely overlapped in the left anterior temporal (BA 38/20) and bilateral premotor areas (BA 6), with the visual condition extending more into left lateral precentral areas. There were no associations with functional property verification for living concepts. Our results provide strong support for anatomically separable representations of living and nonliving concepts, as well as visual feature knowledge of living objects, and against distributed accounts of semantic memory that view visual and functional features of living and nonliving objects as distributed across a common set of brain areas.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 01/2007; 18(12):2138-51. · 4.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little and controversial evidence is available from neuroimaging studies in progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNA). The goal of this study was to combine information from different imaging modalities in PNA compared with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Chemical shift imaging (CSI), voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) were used in 5 PNA, 10 AD patients and 10 normal subjects. Group comparisons revealed left anterior lateral temporal abnormalities (BA20/21) in PNA using CSI, VBM and PET in comparison to normal subjects. AD patients showed more limited hypometabolism within the same area. In addition left lateral parietal (BA40) abnormalities were demonstrated in our PNA as well as our AD group using PET and VBM (AD group only). Combining information from all imaging modalities on a single case basis revealed pathology within the left anterior lateral temporal and lateral parietal lobe both in PNA and AD. PNA and AD patients differed significantly, however, with respect to the frequency of medial temporal lobe and posterior cingulate/precuneus involvement. Although our results might not be generalizable to all subgroups of PNA, we conclude that medial temporal and posterior cingulate/precuneus cortex pathology as assessed by CSI and VBM or PET distinguish PNA from AD, whereas lateral temporal and parietal areas are involved in both conditions.
Psychiatry Research 12/2005; 140(2):115-31. · 2.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considerable disagreement exists about the neuroanatomical basis of conceptual-semantic impairments observed in a subgroup of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) at mild to moderate stages of the disease. Several studies of groups of patients have shown correlations between focal hypometabolism or hypoperfusion in left hemispheric areas and measures of verbal semantic memory impairment in AD patients. The question remains, however, whether left hemispheric hypometabolism is sufficient to produce such impairment in the single case and whether nonverbal semantic knowledge is also affected. We used positron emission tomography (PET) with fluorodeoxyglucose-F18 (FDG), statistical parametric mapping (SPM), and tests of verbal and nonverbal semantic memory in 11 AD patients with a mean score on the Mini-Mental State Examination of 22.6 (+/-2.8). Naming impairment was significantly associated with left hemispheric asymmetry of hypometabolism on a single-case basis. Our correlation analysis showed that metabolism in left anterior temporal, posterior inferior temporal, inferior parietal and medial occipital areas (Brodmann areas: 21/38, 37, 40 and 19) correlated with both verbal and nonverbal semantic performance. We conclude that left hemispheric synaptic dysfunction, as measured by regional glucose hypometabolism, was sufficient to produce semantic impairments in our patients. The majority of areas affected in our patients with semantic impairments were involved in multimodal or supramodal (verbal and nonverbal) semantic knowledge.
Psychiatry Research 01/2005; 132(2):159-72. · 2.68 Impact Factor