OBJECTIVE: Psychotherapies for depression are similarly effective, but the processes through which these therapies work have not been identified. We focus on psychological process changes during therapy as predictors of long-term depression outcome in treatment responders.
METHOD: Secondary analysis of a randomized trial comparing cognitive therapy (CT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) that focuses on 85 treatment responders. Using mixed-effects models, changes during therapy (0-7 months) on nine process variables were associated with depression severity (BDI-II) at follow-up (7-24 months).
RESULTS: A decrease in dysfunctional attitudes was associated with a decrease in depression scores over time. Improved self-esteem was associated with less depression at follow-up (borderline significant). More improvement in both work and social functioning and interpersonal problems was associated with better depression outcomes in IPT relative to CT, while less improvement in work and social functioning and interpersonal problems was associated with better outcomes in CT relative to IPT.
CONCLUSIONS: Less negative thinking during therapy is associated with lower depression severity in time, while changes during therapy in work and social functioning and interpersonal problems appear to predict different long-term outcomes in CT vs. IPT. If replicated, these findings can be used to guide clinical decision-making during psychotherapy.
|Number of pages||17|
|Early online date||20 Apr 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Nov 2022|
- BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
- MAJOR DEPRESSION
- PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
- SAD MOOD
- SOCIAL-ADJUSTMENT SCALE
- cognitive therapy
- interpersonal psychotherapy
- therapy processes