Depressive disorders (DDs) can be highly disabling and are ranked third in terms of disease burden as defined by the World Health Organization, and first among all psychiatric disorders in terms of disability adjusted life years. In addition, DDs seem to be rising globally, and a 20% annual increase in its incidence has been predicted. Improvements in treatment methods and prevention measures, and the availability of community psychiatric services are, therefore, as important as ever before.
So begins, without much controversy, this week’s Reading – which happens to be one of the most controversial papers of the year.
This meta-analysis has been mentioned in newspapers and blogs. No wonder – in 22 pages, it raises questions about the effectiveness of a major psychiatric treatment: cognitive behavioural therapy.
The Reading: “The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an Anti-Depressive Treatment is Falling: A Meta-Analysis” by Tom J. Johnsen and Oddgeir Friborg, recently published in the prestigious Psychological Bulletin.
The full paper can be found here:
A quick summary: analyzing data from 70 studies over nearly four decades, Johnsen and Fribourg find CBT to have become less effective at reducing depressive symptoms. Continue reading