The British Journal of Psychiatry
Cognitive therapy for major depressive disorder in primary care.
J D Teasdale, M J Fennell, G A Hibbert, P L Amies


Cognitive therapy for depression is a psychological treatment designed to train patients to identify and correct the negative depressive thinking which, it has been hypothesised, contributes to the maintenance of depression. General practice patients meeting Research Diagnostic Criteria for primary major depressive disorder were randomly allocated either to continue with the treatment they would normally receive (which in the majority of cases included antidepressant medication) or to receive, in addition, sessions of cognitive therapy. At completion of treatment, patients receiving cognitive therapy were significantly less depressed than the comparison group, both on blind ratings of symptom severity made by psychiatric assessors and on a self-report measure of severity of depression. At three-month follow-up cognitive therapy patients no longer differed from patients receiving treatment-as-usual, but this was mainly as a result of continuing improvement in the comparison group.