Steven D. Hollon's research while affiliated with Vanderbilt University and other places

Publications (345)

Article
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Background Cognitive therapy and behavioural activation are both widely applied and effective psychotherapies for depression, but it is unclear which works best for whom. Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis allows for examining moderators at the participant level and can provide more precise effect estimates than conventional meta-analy...
Article
We investigated if improving a patient's memory for the content of their treatment, via the Memory Support Intervention, improves illness course and functional outcomes. The platform for investigating this question was major depressive disorder (MDD) and cognitive therapy (CT). Adults diagnosed with MDD (N = 178) were randomly allocated to CT + Mem...
Article
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Background Baseline severity has emerged as a key predictor of acute response to treatments for depression. The goals of this individual patient data meta-analysis were to compare the relapse prevention effects of acute phase cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) vs. acute phase antidepressant medications (ADM) either continued (-c) or discontinued (-...
Article
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Background: Internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy (iCBT) is effective for subthreshold depression. However, which skills provided in iCBT packages are more effective than others is unclear. Such knowledge can inform construction of more effective and efficient iCBT programmes. Objective: To examine the efficacy of five components of iCBT...
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Introduction Research is needed to investigate preventive strategies to reduce mental health burden and assess effective implementation among immigrants. Problem management plus (PMP) is a low-intensity multicomponent psychological intervention developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that trained laypeople can deliver. PMP has been adapted...
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Beck initially set out to test the Freudian notion that depression is a consequence of “anger turned inward” (rage directed the introjected parent for not gratifying infantile desires) but soon came to conclude that no such unconscious motivation existed and that instead depressed patients actually believe that they were unlovable or inadequate. He...
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Importance: Socioeconomic factors are associated with the prevalence of depression, but their associations with prognosis are unknown. Understanding this association would aid in the clinical management of depression. Objective: To determine whether employment status, financial strain, housing status, and educational attainment inform prognosis...
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Approximately one-third of individuals in a major depressive episode will not achieve sustained remission despite multiple, well-delivered treatments. These patients experience prolonged suffering and disproportionately utilize mental and general health care resources. The recently proposed clinical heuristic of ‘difficult-to-treat depression’ (DTD...
Article
Treatments for depression have improved, and their availability has markedly increased since the 1980s. Mysteriously the general population prevalence of depression has not decreased. This “treatment-prevalence paradox” (TPP) raises fundamental questions about the diagnosis and treatment of depression. We propose and evaluate seven explanations for...
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Objective : To investigate associations between major life events and prognosis independent of treatment type: 1) after adjusting for clinical prognostic factors and socio-demographics; 2) among patients with depressive episodes at least six-months long; and 3) patients with a first life-time depressive episode. Methods : Six RCTs of adults seekin...
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Preventative behavioral interventions aimed at reducing mental problems among refugees are limited. We assessed the effect of a Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEW) intervention on health-promoting behaviors (coping, social-networking, and conflict-resolution) and health-outcomes (stress, anxiety, and depression) among resettled Bhutanese adults in...
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Major depression is often a relapsing disorder. It is therefore important to start its treatment with therapies that maximize the chance of not only getting the patients well but also keeping them well. We examined the associations between initial treatments and sustained response by conducting a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial...
Article
Family-centred interventions addressing sociocultural and emotional stressors promise to prevent mental health problems among refugees in the United States. Peer-led strategies are highly valued, as they engage communities and promote the sustainability of interventions. We assessed the effects of a peer-led family-centred Social and Emotional Well...
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Evolutionary medicine attempts to solve a problem with which traditional medicine has struggled historically; how do we distinguish between diseased states and “healthy” responses to disease states? Fever and diarrhea represent classic examples of evolved adaptations that increase the likelihood of survival in response to the presence of pathogens...
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In the 50 years since it was first introduced, cognitive therapy has been shown to be as efficacious as antidepressant medications (on average) in the acute treatment of nonpsychotic depression, although some patients will do better on one than on the other. Moreover, patients treated to remission with cognitive therapy are less than half as likely...
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Background This study aimed to investigate general factors associated with prognosis regardless of the type of treatment received, for adults with depression in primary care. Methods We searched Medline, Embase, PsycINFO and Cochrane Central (inception to 12/01/2020) for RCTs that included the most commonly used comprehensive measure of depressive...
Chapter
The commentary agrees with the premise that cognitive therapy handles the whole therapeutic process by using case formulation, including both specific cognitive strategies and the nonspecific factors such as the therapeutic alliance and the relationship. Cognitive therapists manage the developing relationship across different clients in a manner th...
Article
According to the analytical rumination hypothesis, depression is an evolved adaptation (like pain or anxiety) that served in our ancestral past to keep people focused on complex interpersonal problems until they could arrive at a resolution (spontaneous remission). If this is true, then those clinical treatments that most facilitate the functions t...
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Background Antidepressant medication and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both recommended interventions in depression treatment guidelines based on literature reviews and meta-analyses. However, ‘conventional’ meta-analyses comparing their efficacy are limited by their reliance on reported study-level information and a narrow focus on depress...
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Objective: Depressed patients rate social support as important for prognosis, but evidence for a prognostic effect is lacking. We aimed to test the association between social support and prognosis independent of treatment type, and the severity of depression, and other clinical features indicating a more severe illness. Methods: Individual patie...
Article
Background: Psychotherapy for depression and antidepressant medications have both been associated with decreases in suicidal ideation. Studies have not examined whether adding psychotherapy to antidepressant medications further reduces suicidal ideation relative to medications alone in adults. Methods: Participants (N = 452) were randomized to 7...
Article
Background Training non-specialist health workers (NSHWs) at scale is a major barrier to increasing the coverage of depression care in India. This trial will test the effectiveness of two forms of digital training compared to conventional face-to-face training in changing the competence of NSHWs to deliver a brief evidence-based psychological treat...
Article
Patients treated to remission with cognitive therapy are less than half as likely to relapse following treatment termination as patients treated to remission with antidepressant medications. What remains unclear is whether cognitive therapy truly is enduring or antidepressant medications iatrogenic in terms of prolonging the life of the underlying...
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Regular assessment of the effectiveness of behavioral interventions is a potent tool for improving their relevance to patients. However, poor provider and patient adherence characterize most measurement-based care tools. Therefore, a new approach for measuring intervention effects and communicating them to providers in a seamless manner is warrante...
Article
Increased interest in disseminating and implementing psychological treatments has focused on the need for evidence-based training programs for providers, especially those without specialized training. To evaluate provider-training programs, validated outcome measures are necessary; however, the scalable measurement of training outcomes has been lar...
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184 words) Most clinicians view depression as a painful disorder in which motivation to pursue adaptive goals is lacking and cognition is impaired. An alternative hypothesis-grounded in a common evolutionary approach-suggests that depression is inherently motivational and evolved to motivate avoidant learning of harmful situations. Testing these hy...
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Despite major expansions of evidence-based treatments of common mental disorders in recent decades, especially antidepressant medication, the point prevalence of depression has not decreased; instead it probably increased in young adults. We question whether antidepressants (AD)-monotherapy and low-fidelity-to-guideline psychological treatment (PT)...
Article
COVID-19 presents significant social, economic, and medical challenges. Because COVID-19 has already begun to precipitate huge increases in mental health problems, clinical psychological science must assert a leadership role in guiding a national response to this secondary crisis. In this article, COVID-19 is conceptualized as a unique, compounding...
Article
This study examined effects of an adolescent depression prevention program on maternal criticisms and positive remarks, whether the extent of adolescents' depression accounted for effects, and whether effects of the program on maternal criticisms and positive remarks differed by adolescents' gender. Participants were 298 adolescent (Mage = 14.79, S...
Article
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Objective: Stigma is associated with many health conditions, including chronic pain. Research on health-related stigma is limited by the lack of validated instruments that distinguish among various stigma-related constructs. We aimed to develop and validate such a measure for pediatric functional abdominal pain (FAP). Felt stigma (FS) was defined...
Article
Stress associated with attempts to integrate into a new culture is directly linked to mental health outcomes among refugees. However, there is a paucity of literature on how refugees cope to reduce their stress. This study assessed the association between coping strategies and perceived stress among resettled Bhutanese adults in Western Massachuset...
Article
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Background : Pre-treatment severity is a key indicator of prognosis for those with depression. Knowledge is limited on how best to encompass severity of disorders. A number of non-severity related factors such as social support and life events are also indicators of prognosis. It is not clear whether this holds true after adjusting for pre-treatmen...
Article
Objective: Although the effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and cognitive therapy (CT) for major depression has been established, little is known about how and for whom they work and how they compare in the long term. The latter is especially relevant for IPT because research on its long-term effects has been limited. This overview...
Article
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....
Article
Background Many evidence-based prevention and intervention approaches for youth mental health exist, but most are time-consuming and expensive to deliver. Innovative approaches are needed to develop and disseminate scalable mental health interventions, especially for youth in low- and middle-income countries. Computerized single-session interventio...
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Cognitive behavior models present major depressive disorder (MDD) as a failure in emotional processing associated with disrupted metacognitive skills. Self-observation, a metacognitive ability, plays a vital role in emotion regulation. Studies have noted the role of mindfulness in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); however, few address psychologic...
Article
Background Perinatal depression and anxiety are associated with unfavourable child outcomes. Aims To assess among women with antenatal depression or anxiety the effectiveness of prenatally initiated cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) on mother and child compared with care as usual (CAU). Trial registration: Netherlands Trial Register number NTR22...
Article
Importance Antidepressant medication treatment is associated with the prevention of depressive recurrence in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), but whether cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment is associated with recurrence prevention remains unclear. Objective To determine the effects of combining CBT with antidepressant medica...
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Background Antidepressant medications (ADMs) are widely used and long-term use is increasing. Given this extensive use and recommendation of ADMs in guidelines, one would expect ADMs to be universally considered effective. Surprisingly, that is not the case; fierce debate on their benefits and harms continues. This editorial seeks to understand why...
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Background : Pre-treatment severity is a key indicator of prognosis for those with depression. Knowledge is limited on how best to encompass severity of disorders. A number of non-severity related factors such as social support and life events are also indicators of prognosis. It is not clear whether this holds true after adjusting for pre-treatmen...
Article
Two core features of depression include depressed mood (heightened distress) and anhedonia (reduced pleasure). Despite their centrality to depression, studies have not examined their contribution to treatment outcomes in a randomized clinical trial providing mainstream treatments like antidepressant medications (ADM) and cognitive therapy (CT). We...
Article
Hoewel de effectiviteit van cognitieve therapie (CT) en interpersoonlijke psychotherapie (IPT) voor depressie overtuigend is aangetoond, is er weinig bekend over hoe, hoelang, en voor wie ze werken. In dit artikel wordt een overzicht gegeven van resultaten van een grote gerandomiseerde behandelstudie naar de (differentiële) effecten en werkingsmech...
Article
The American Psychological Association (APA) recently adopted three clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), including one on the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder that engendered considerable controversy because it recommended several trauma-focused therapies that have been extensively tested but not that widely practiced and not other forms...
Article
The cardinal symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are heightened depressed mood (negative affectivity; NA) and diminished interest or pleasure (positive affectivity; PA). It is unknown how well treatments for MDD repair each. Two secondary analyses of randomized controlled trials were therefore conducted. In Study One, 180 adult depressed ou...
Article
Background Resilience, or an individual’s positive response in managing life’s adversities, is of increasing interest in addressing the mental health disparities in refugees. Although the link between stressful life events and poor mental health is established, research on the role of resilience on the mental health of refugees is limited. Aims Th...
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A recent individual patient data meta‐analysis showed that antidepressant medication is slightly more efficacious than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in reducing overall depression severity in patients with a DSM‐defined depressive disorder. We used an update of that dataset, based on seventeen randomized clinical trials, to examine the compara...
Article
Though it is widely believed that psychotherapy changes biology, this contention is largely based on observational data, subject to confounding. We report the first systematic review and meta-analysis of biological variables assessed, as outcomes or predictors of response, in randomized controlled trials of psychotherapy for adult depression. Fifty...
Article
Objective: The optimization of long-term outcomes is an important goal in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Offering subsequent preventive cognitive therapy (PCT) to patients who responded to acute cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may reduce the risk of relapse/recurrence. Method: Therefore, a multicenter randomized controlled trial...
Preprint
Though it is widely believed that psychotherapy changes biology, this contention is largely based on observational data, subject to confounding. We report the first systematic review and meta-analysis of biological variables assessed, as outcomes or predictors of response, in randomized controlled trials of psychotherapy for adult depression. Fifty...
Article
Hundreds of organizations are approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education (CE) to psychologists who provide assessment and intervention services to the public. CE sponsors are held to standards by the APA that emphasize evidence-based practice, but less is known about what is taught in individual CE prog...
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Insight into how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) works is urgently needed to improve depressive outcome. First, we discuss the role of learning in CBT for depression by reviewing evidence for learning processes involved in the development and maintenance of depression. Second, we investigate the role of learning capacity as a moderator by review...
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Aims The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) are the most frequently used observer-rated and self-report scales of depression, respectively. It is important to know what a given total score or a change score from baseline on one scale means in relation to the other scale. Methods We obtained individual p...
Article
The cognitive and behavioral interventions can be as efficacious as antidepressant medications and more enduring, but some patients will be more likely to respond to one than the other. Recent work has focused on developing sophisticated selection algorithms using machine-learning approaches that answer the question, “What works best for whom?” Mor...
Article
The Healthy Activity Program (HAP), a brief, lay-counselor-delivered, behavioral activation psychological treatment, was found to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms among primary care attendees in India. We now examine whether early response predicts depression (PHQ-9) outcomes at the primary endpoint of 3 months and sustained recovery at...
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Background As depression has a recurrent course, relapse and recurrence prevention is essential. Aims In our randomised controlled trial (registered with the Nederlands trial register, identifier: NTR1907), we found that adding preventive cognitive therapy (PCT) to maintenance antidepressants (PCT+AD) yielded substantial protective effects versus...
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Background The current study explored the temporal pathways of change within two treatments, the Healthy Activity Program (HAP) for depression and the Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP) Program for harmful drinking. Methods The study took place in the context of two parallel randomized controlled trials in Goa, India. N = 50 random participant...
Article
Objective:: Youth depression can be prevented, yet few programs are offered. Decision makers lack cost information. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral prevention program (CBP) versus usual care. Methods:: A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted with data from a randomized controlled trial of 316 youths, age...
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Background: We recently completed a randomised controlled trial in Goa India in which we observed a pattern of discordance with our two primary outcome measures; the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) classified patients as moderately severe at the end of treatment, whilst the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) classified these same patients as b...
Article
Background Research in depression has progressed rapidly over the past four decades. Yet depression rates are not subsiding and treatment success is not improving. We examine the extent to which the gap between science and practice is associated with the level of integration in how depression is considered in research and stakeholder-relevant docum...
Article
Hofmann and Hayes (this issue) argue for a move away from a reliance on a medical illness model in which rigid therapy protocols are targeted at presumed disease entities in favor of a more process-based approach that targets core mediators and moderators based on testable theories. I could not agree more. I find their arguments persuasive and thei...