CBT 'ineffective' in depressed adolescents on SSRIs

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is not effective for moderately to severely depressed adolescents who are being treated with SSRIs, a UK study has shown.

Adding CBT to SSRI treatment for adolescents had no impact on clinical outcomes, and was less cost-effective than SSRI treatment alone.

The study included 193 depressed adolescents who had not responded to an initial brief psychosocial intervention.

They were assigned to receive 12 weeks of treatment with the SSRI fluoxetine plus CBT and routine clinical care, or to fluoxetine and clinical care only.

Follow-up at six, 12 and 28 weeks found no difference in recovery rates between the two groups, but treatment with fluoxetine plus CBT was more expensive.

GPletters@haymarket.com

Health Technology Assessment website

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