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Monthly Maintenance Psychotherapy Helps Ward Off Recurrent Depression

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to interested patients that for many women with recurrent depression who achieved remission via depression-specific psychotherapy but without drug therapy, even a once monthly booster session may hold off recurrence.

PITTSBURGH, May 7 -- For women with depression who achieved remission with interpersonal psychotherapy, a monthly therapy booster prevented recurrence for 74% of patients over two years, researchers reported.

On the other hand, for patients who required drug therapy coupled with psychotherapy to achieve remission, psychotherapy alone for the few patients who remained in the study was significantly less effective, Ellen Frank, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues, reported online in the May issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Acute interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on grief, role transitions, role disputes, and interpersonal deficits. Maintenance therapy focuses on helping the patient assume responsibility for preventing future depressive episodes, and reinforcing interpersonal coping skills, while still focusing on the four traditional problem areas, the researchers said.

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