Speed of action: The relative efficacy of short psychodynamic supportive psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in the first 8 weeks of a treatment algorithm for depression.

J.J.M. Dekker, J.A. Koelen, H.L. Van, R.A. Schoevers, J. Peen, G. Hendriksen, S. Kool, G. van Aalst, F. de Jonghe

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To examine the efficacy and speed of action of short-term psychodynamic supportive psychotherapy (SPSP) in comparison to pharmacotherapy (PhT) in the acute treatment of depression.

This study reported on the first 8 weeks of a treatment algorithm for depression. 70 patients with a depressive episode according to DSM-IV were randomized to PhT, 71 patients were randomized to SPSP. The acceptability of the psychotherapy was greater than pharmacotherapy.

At the end of the first 8 weeks of treatment, attrition rates were similar in both conditions. PhT-patients were better off at 4 weeks according to two of the four measures The superiority of PhT was clearer on the self-report than on the independent measure.

There are signs that the benefits of PhT over SPSP—where detected—are short-lived and cover mostly the first month of treatment. The progression of these patients through the rest of their treatments, and afterwards, will be reported in further contributions.

Keywords: Depression, Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, Pharmacotherapy, Randomized clinical trial, Speed of action
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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