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Behavioral therapy in pediatric antidepressant treatment reduces likelihood of relapse
Date:7/2/2014

DALLAS July 2, 2014 Cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to medication improves the long-term success of treatment for children and adolescents suffering from depression, a new UTSouthwestern Medical Center study indicates.

Based on the results of a clinical trial conducted at UTSouthwestern and Children's Medical Center of Dallas, depression relapse rates were substantially lower in a group of youth who received both forms of treatment versus medication alone.

"Continuation-phase strategies designed to reduce the high rates of relapse in depressed youths have important public health implications, as recurrence of depression is more likely in youths with multiple episodes," said Dr. Betsy Kennard, Professor of Psychiatry at UTSouthwestern and senior author of the study published June 17 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Relapse rates in youth with major depressive disorders typically range from 40 percent to 70 percent, said Dr. Kennard, also Director of an outpatient program at Children's Medical Center called Suicide Prevention and Resilience at Children's (SPARC).

In this study, the relapse rate for the group of 75 youth who received behavioral therapy for six months following six weeks of initial treatment with the antidepressant fluoxetine, also known as Prozac, was 9 percent. Among the group of 69 youth who received only the drug during this period, 26.5 percent relapsed.

Youth who showed improvement after receiving fluoxetine for an initial six-week treatment period continued in the study, split between the medication-only and therapy plus medication groups. S
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Contact: Debbie Bolles
debbie.bolles@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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