*Journal of Affective Disorders* (vol. 109, #1-2;
July 2008 ) includes an article: “Efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy plus
pharmacotherapy in chronically depressed inpatients.”

The article is by Elisabeth Schramm, Daniel Schneider, Ingo Zobel,
Dietrich van Calker, Petra Dykierek, Martin Harter, & Mathias Berger.

Here’s the abstract:

Background: Clinical guidelines recommend the combination of pharmaco-
and psychotherapy for the treatment of chronic depression, although
there are only a few studies supporting an additive effect of psychotherapy.

Methods: Forty-five inpatients with a chronic Major Depressive Disorder
were randomized to 5 weeks of either Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
modified for an inpatient setting (15 individual and 8 group sessions)
plus pharmacotherapy or to medication plus Clinical Management (CM). The
17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression was the primary outcome
measure. The study included a prospective naturalistic follow-up, 3- and
12-months after discharge.

Results: Intent-to-treat analyses revealed a significantly greater
reduction of depressive symptoms as well as better global functioning of
patients treated with IPT compared to the CM group at week 5. Response
and sustained response rates differed significantly between the two
treatment conditions, favouring the IPT group. Remission rates were
considerably higher for IPT patients who completed the treatment (67%
vs. 32%). Patients who initially responded to IPT exhibited greater
treatment gains at 12 months since only 7% of these subjects relapsed
compared with 25% of the CM subjects. In the long-term, additional IPT
led to a lower symptom level and higher global functioning.

Limitations: The study uses data of a subset of patients from a larger
trial. Both treatment groups did not receive comparable amounts of
therapeutic attention. Extrapolating the data from this inpatient study
to chronically depressed outpatients may not be possible. Conclusions:
Intensive combined treatment provides superior acute and long-term
effects over standard treatment in chronically depressed inpatients.

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