CBT success depends on number of depression episodes

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is most effective in patients who have had four or more prior episodes of depression, Dutch research suggests.

Photograph: JH Lancy

The findings suggest that GPs could use the number of prior episodes to determine which patients are likely to benefit the most from CBT.

For the study, researchers studied 208 patients, aged 18-70, who were receiving treatment for depression from their GP.

Patients who had three or fewer prior episodes of depression did not show any significant improvements with CBT.

However, patients who had four or more prior episodes of depression responded positively to CBT.

The researchers, from the University Medical Centre in Groningen, concluded: ‘GPs may consider the number of previous depressive episodes, which is a strong predictor of an unfavourable course of depression, as a treatment indicator in order to optimise allocation of scarce treatment capacity.’


Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

GP typing at computer

GP practices asked to switch on data sharing with UK Biobank

GP practices have been asked to share patient data with the biomedical database UK...

Child vaccination

'Serious concern' as child vaccination rates slip and MMR hits new low

Health officials have voiced 'serious concern' after child vaccination rates in England...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: GP contract trends, the future of physician associates, cost-of-living impact on patient health

The team discusses what recent tenders for GP contracts tell us about the possible...

GP consultation

GP practices delivering 150,000 extra appointments per day compared with 2019

GP practices in England delivered 150,000 more appointments per working day in the...

Surgeon looking at a monitor in an operating theatre

NICE recommends non-invasive surgical procedure to target obesity

NICE has said that a non-invasive weight loss procedure should be used by the NHS...

GP trainee

Two training posts deliver one full-time GP on average, report warns

Two training posts are needed on average to deliver a single fully-qualified, full-time...