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Medical News & Perspectives
July 16, 2008

Empirically Supported Treatments Improve Care of Adolescents With Depression

JAMA. 2008;300(3):269-270. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.48

Washington, DC—Randomized controlled trials in academic/community sites and primary care settings over the past few years have identified effective and practical strategies to improve treatment of adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD), according to presentations at a symposium on treatment of adolescent depression at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) here in May.

“Prior to these studies, we knew antidepressant medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could reduce depression,” said Benedetto Vitiello, MD, chief of the child and adolescent treatment and prevention intervention research branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “Now we can compare efficacy of 1 treatment to that of another and see the advantages of combining medication with CBT for adolescents with moderate to severe depression,” he said. “We also know better what to do for adolescents who remain depressed after initial treatment with medication.”