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June 1974

Treatment Effects on the Social Adjustment of Depressed Patients

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn; Boston; London; New Haven, Conn; Foxborough, Mass
From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and the Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Conn (M. Weissman and B. Prusoff); Harvard Medical School and Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center, Boston (Dr. Klerman); St. George's Hospital, London (Dr. Paykel); and Foxborough State Hospital, Foxborough, Mass (B. Hanson).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(6):771-778. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760120033006

The effects of maintenance treatment on social adjustment are examined in depressed outpatients randomly assigned to eight months of amitriptyline hydrochloride, a placebo, or no pill, with or without psychotherapy, using a 2 × 3 factorial design.

Results for the 106 patients who completed the trial show a significant main effect for psychotherapy apparent only after six to eight months' treatment. Psychotherapy improved overall adjustment, work performance, and communication, and reduced friction and anxious rumination. There was no effect on the patients' social adjustment for amitriptyline and there were no drug/psychotherapy interactions.

The results support the value of weekly maintenance psychotherapy in recovering depressives. Since amitriptyline has been shown to reduce relapse and prevent symptom return, and psychotherapy was shown to enhance adjustment, there is evidence for combined treatments.

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