Another major study: CBT (and other psychological/behavioral) treatments are comparible to RXs.

Clinical Psychiatry News published “More data show antidepressants, CBT comparable for depression” in the online edition on 12-18-15.  This is a relatively brief summary of a very though report, published by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, on 12-8-15.  The report, “Nonpharmacological Versus Pharmacological Treatment for Adults with Major Depressive Disorder,” is part of a series of studies assessing the effectiveness of various treatments for MDD, including commonly prescribed medications, commonly utilized therapies, and alternative treatments, including exercise.  This study surveyed research literature from 1990 to Jan. 13, 2015, so it includes current research results. It surveyed over 7, 000 studies, so it is very thorough.

The Clinical Psychiatry News article is a brief summary, but accurately emphasizes positive findings about psychological and behavioral treatments for MDD, including reports that find  CBT to be generally as effective as medication for MDD – although it does not note that the AHRQ report specifies that this is for “mild to moderate” MDD.  The AHRQ report is challenging to read because of the amount of data it provides, in a pretty dense form, but is a goldmine of information supporting consideration of use of psychological treatments, and exercise, as adjunctive treatments for depression, and possibly CBT as the primary treatment for depression for patients concerned about medication side effects.

This information could be used by mental health professionals and organizations seeking to market their services to primary care providers or to partner with them, perhaps as part of an Accountable Care Organization.

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