Navigation Links
Organized phone therapy for depression found cost-effective

SEATTLEWhen people get brief, structured, phone-based cognitive behavioral psychotherapy soon after starting on antidepressant medication, significant benefits may persist two years after their first session, with only modest rises in cost. Over two years, this treatment is cost-effective, according to a randomized trial in the October 2009 Archives of General Psychiatry.

"The most important reason to treat depression is to reduce suffering and improve daily functioning," said Group Health psychiatrist Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, also a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute (formerly called Group Health Center for Health Studies). "But our findings suggest that insurers or health care systems aiming to improve depression treatment in primary care should consider incorporating structured psychotherapy."

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported earlier results from the same 600-person trial, the largest to date of psychotherapy by phoneand one of the largest studies of psychotherapy ever.

Over two years, phone psychotherapy plus care management led to a gain of 46 depression-free days, with only a $397 increase in outpatient health care costs. The incremental net benefit of phone psychotherapy plus care management was positive, even if a day free of depression was valued as low as $9.

By contrast, phone care management alone, with no phone psychotherapy, led to a gain of only 29 days free of depression, with a $676 rise in outpatient health care costs. The incremental net benefit of phone care management alone was negative, even if a day free of depression was valued up to $20.

The trial enrolled 600 Group Health patients whose primary care doctors diagnosed their depression and (as is usual in primary care) prescribed their antidepressants without psychotherapy.

The patients were randomly assigned to receive either:

  • Usual primary care
  • Phone care management: usual care plus a phone-based care-management program including three outreach calls from a bachelors-level clinician (assessing patients' symptoms, antidepressant drug use, and side effects and referring to mental health specialty care if needed), with care coordination and feedback to the primary care doctor
  • Phone psychotherapy: usual care, plus phone care management, plus eight 30-40 minute sessions of structured cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy delivered by phone by a masters-level mental health clinician

The trial excluded people who were already seeing a therapist or intending to do so. The patients and mental health clinicians never met face to face, only over the phone. The mental health clinicians followed a structured protocol for psychotherapy. They encouraged the patients to identify and counter their negative thoughts (cognitive behavioral therapy), pursue activities they had enjoyed in the past (behavioral activation), and develop a plan to care for themselves.

Few of the patients who received phone-based therapyeven fewer than those who did not receive itsought in-person therapy. Phone-based therapy is more convenient and acceptable to patients than in-person psychotherapy, said Dr. Simon.

Depression symptoms, including feeling discouraged and avoiding other people, can prevent people from seeking help, he added. Nationally, only about half of insured patients receiving depression treatment make any psychotherapy visit, and less than a third make four or more visits. By contrast, in this trial, three in four patients completed at least six phone therapy sessions.


Contact: Rebecca Hughes
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies

Related medicine news :

1. Sinovacs H1N1 Vaccine Passes Experts Evaluation Organized by SFDA
2. Fluoride and Organized Dentistry: Big Losers This Election Day
3. New meal planning website launches just in time to help todays busy, health-conscious families and individuals to beat the odds when it comes to keeping their New Years resolutions around eating healthier and getting organized
4. Participation in organized high school activities lowers risk of smoking 3 years after graduation
5. Headphones May Threaten Heart-Device Performance
6. VisionSync Launches a Smart iPhone First Aid App, iMobile Care
7. Luxury Bed Maker Hstens Introduces Mindspa iPhone™ Application
8. Voice, Medical Records iPhone Apps Launched for Physicians
9. VA Warns Veterans of Telephone Prescription Scam
10. Epygi Technologies Partners with FaxBack to Incorporate Microsoft Fax into Epygi's VoIP Phone Systems
11. New iPhone App Outbreaks Near Me Locates H1N1 (Swine Flu), Infectious Diseases
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Organized phone therapy for depression found cost-effective
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Trying to relax on a couch can actually be uncomfortable, ... this design due to personal experience with a bad back," he said. , This ... as well as increases support. It also makes it easier to eat, do other ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is ... panels to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Users have full control over angle ... ProPanel: Pulse masking effects, users are sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... According to an article published November 13th on, ... D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental care, both at-home and in the ... between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) and diabetes. According to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... CO (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... According ... cities are not changing the way that they are handling security in light of ... police and security presence in an attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors has released a report ... has just posted the findings on the website. Click here to read the ... 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. --> Research and ... of the "Self Administration of High Viscosity ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ... Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application ... Forecast to 2020" report to their ... announced the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ) ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition of ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: