Treating Depression Effectively With Even Simpler Therapy

Posted on November 18, 2017

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In a recent study published in The Lancet, it was asserted that a simpler and more cost-effective way to treat depression is behavioural activation therapy. Although the gold standard of depression treatment is cognitive-behavioural therapy, behavioural activation therapy could work as a more straightforward alternative.

Around 350 million people around the world is affected by clinical depression, but only a fraction of these numbers receive the best care. A general concern is the cost that accompanies therapy and behavioural activation therapy can provide more people access to therapy with it's lower cost. The focus of the therapy itself is encouraging people to take part in meaningful activities linked to their individual core values, and helps people find out which activities make them feel better. This is useful because most people with depression take part in activities that ultimately lead to them feeling worse.

With this therapy, individuals would be able to make the connection between their mood and what they do. Its aim is to fight avoidance and instead, move towards personally rewarding experiences.

The main author of the study, Professor David Richards, states that a global priority would be the effective treatment of depression at low cost. And that findings "is the most robust evidence yet" in proving that Behavioural Activation Therapy is just as effective as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. What this means for the world is that treatment can take place more easily and cost-effectively with zero compromise on the level of quality. There can be a reduction of waiting times, better access to depression therapy worldwide, and hope for countries that are suffering from the impact of depression on the health of their people.

During the study, 440 participants were split into two groups, half of the lot receiving Behavioural Activation Therapy and the other half receiving Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The outcome was that both the groups treated with the different methods of therapy had similar results - 2/3 of people feeling better after a year.

This study is available here.


Source material from PsyBlog

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