Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Equivalent to Second-Generation Antidepressants for Depression

CBT similar to second-generation antidepressants for major depressive disorder

Clinical Question:
Is cognitive behavioral therapy as effective as second-generation antidepressant treatment for patients with major depressive disorder?

Bottom Line:
The research is depressingly poor when it comes to answering this question. The available research shows equal benefit with drug therapy or talk therapy in terms of inducing a response or remission. There is no research on whether relapse is prevented
more by one approach or the other. None of the studies in this systematic
review included a no-treatment group, so we also don’t know whether either
treatment was better than doing nothing. (LOE = 1a-)

Amick HR, Gartlehner G, Gaynes BN, et al. Comparative benefits and harms of
second generation antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapies in
initial treatment of major depressive disorder: systematic review and
meta-analysis. BMJ 2015;351:h6019.


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