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January 1986

Cognitive Therapy and Pharmacotherapy for Depression: Sustained Improvement Over One Year

Author Affiliations

From the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Dr Simons), and the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis (Drs Murphy, Levine, and Wetzel). Dr Levine is now at Overlook Hospital, Summit, NJ.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(1):43-48. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800010045006

• Seventy patients with nonbipolar affective disorder who completed a 12-week course of either cognitive therapy (CT), pharmacotherapy, CT plus active placebo, or CT plus pharmacotherapy were assessed one month, six months, and one year after termination of active treatment. Of the 44 patients who had originally responded to treatment, 16 relapsed as defined by reentry into treatment or by self-reported depression scores in the moderately depressed range. Twenty-eight patients remained well during the one-year follow-up. Patients with relatively high levels of remaining depressive symptoms on completion of treatment relapsed more often than those who had little or no residual depression. Further, at treatment termination, patients who relapsed had significantly higher scores on a measure of dysfunctional attitudes. Patients who had received CT (with or without tricyclic antidepressants) were less likely to relapse in the one-year follow-up period than patients who received pharmacotherapy.