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September 19, 2012

Telephone vs Face-to-Face Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India (Dr Sarkar; sidsarkar22@gmail.com); and Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (Dr Gupta).

JAMA. 2012;308(11):1090-1091. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10723

To the Editor: Dr Mohr and colleagues1 demonstrated lower attrition rates in patients being delivered telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy (T-CBT) compared with traditional face-to-face CBT. However, the initial posttreatment effect on depression with T-CBT did not persist over 6 months of follow-up. This raises the question of whether the effect of psychotherapy depends on the content, the setting, or both. The process of T-CBT removes the physical presence of the therapist and may change the therapeutic alliance, which is a key ingredient for sustained improvement.2

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