A pilot randomised controlled trial of a brief cognitive behavioural group intervention to reduce recurrence rates in late life depression.
Wilkinson P., Alder N., Juszczak E., Matthews H., Merritt C., Montgomery H., Howard R., Macdonald A., Jacoby R.
OBJECTIVES: To standardise the delivery of a brief group cognitive behaviour therapy intervention (CBT-G). To apply the intervention in a research setting and to estimate its effect on recurrence rates in recently depressed older adults, in preparation for a definitive study. METHOD: A CBT-G therapy manual was produced and the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (CTS-R) modified to assess therapy delivery. Forty-five adults aged 60 and over who had met ICD-10 criteria for major depression in the previous year and were still taking antidepressant medication were randomly allocated to CBT-G/antidepressant combination or antidepressant alone. Depression severity was measured at baseline, randomisation and 6 and 12 months after start of CBT-G using the Montgomery Asberg Rating Scale for Depression (MADRS). RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: One-year recurrence rates on the MADRS were encouragingly lower in participants receiving CBT-G [5/18 (27.8%)] compared with controls [8/18 (44.4%)] although this did not achieve statistical significance (adjusted RR 0.70 [95% CI 0.26-1.94]). In contrast, overall scores on the secondary outcome measure, the Beck Depression Inventory, increased in participants receiving CBT-G. The CBT-G manual was successfully implemented and therapy delivery achieved an overall satisfactory level of competence. We believe that evaluation of this promising intervention in a full-scale trial is warranted.