News Release

Combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy more effective in treating depression

Psychologic treatment of depression compared with pharmacotherapy and combined treatment in primary care: A network meta-analysis

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

Most patients with depression are treated in primary care, however, relatively few clinical trials for treating depression have focused on primary care. Researchers at the Vrije University Amsterdam examined the effects of the two major approaches to treating depression: psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, as well as combined treatment and care-as-usual. The study integrated the results of 58 randomized controlled trials with a total of 9,301 patients. Results concluded that both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy were significantly more effective than care-as-usual or waitlist control. However, they found no significant difference between psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy as stand-alone treatments. Combined treatment, particularly in studies that included cognitive behavioral therapy, was better than either pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy alone. Treatment in primary care should be organized to accommodate any of these treatments in response to patients' preferences and values, the authors write.


Psychologic Treatment of Depression Compared With Pharmacotherapy and Combined Treatment in Primary Care: A Network Meta-Analysis Pim Cuijpers, PhD, et al Vrije University, Amsterdam, Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology and Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute; The Netherlands

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