The British Journal of Psychiatry


We examined in a primary care sample whether acute-phase cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) would be more effective than usual care for patients with multiple prior episodes of depression. Depression outcome was based on a 3-monthly administered Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) during a 2-year follow-up. We confirmed that in patients with four or more prior episodes, CBT outperformed usual care by four points on the BDI, but not in patients with three or fewer prior episodes. Subsequent analyses suggested that CBT may be able to tackle cognitive problems related to rumination in patients with recurrent depression.

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