Navigation Links
Peer Support Beats Usual Care for Depression, Analysis Finds
Date:2/18/2011

FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis of existing research finds that peer support may do a better job of treating depression than standard care.

Depression is difficult to treat even with the help of psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs. According to the analysis, one-third of depressed patients have significant symptoms even after being treated with four different medications. In addition, among depressed people who recover while taking antidepressant drugs, more than half relapse within a year.

The researchers looked at 14 studies involving depression and peer support in their meta-analysis, which is a method that pools the results of different studies examining a common problem so they can be analyzed statistically. All of the studies had randomly assigned depressed people to receive peer support with at least one other person, or one of three other types of treatment including standard care, cognitive behavioral therapy, or both. The studies examined the experiences of 869 participants in total.

The researchers combined the results of the studies and reported their findings online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

Dr. Paul Pfeiffer, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues found that support groups were "superior" to regular care but didn't do significantly better or worse than cognitive behavioral therapy, which trains people to develop new patterns of thought and behavior.

Why might support groups be so helpful? Pfeiffer's team suggested that it may have something to do with their ability to lessen isolation, provide a buffer against stressful events, help patients share health information and offer role models. "Peer support programs may also empower patients to play a more active role in their own self-care," they wrote.

"Given the high level of functional burden imposed by depression worldwide, peer support for depression should also be studied as a potentially low-cost intervention in primary care or other settings where more established but costly depression services are unavailable," the authors concluded.

One expert who was not involved with the meta-analysis had some criticisms of the findings.

Dr. Bernard Carroll, scientific director at the Pacific Behavioral Research Foundation and past chairman of psychiatry at Duke University, said that several of the studies in the review were weak, and the stronger ones showed the treatment approaches were just about equally effective. In addition, some of the studies focused on people with mild symptoms, he noted.

But peer support might still have its uses in depression treatment, he noted.

Overall, Carroll said, the review suggested that peer support "may be somewhat helpful" -- with caveats -- in certain people without severe symptoms of depression.

More information

For more about depression, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCES: Bernard Carroll, Ph.D., scientific director, Pacific Behavioral Research Foundation, Carmel, Calif.; Nov. 13, 2010, General Hospital Psychiatry, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Senator Janis Lee Sponsors Senate Resolution Supporting Kevin Saunders for Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports
2. Toys"R"Us, Inc. Expands its Support of Autism Speaks Throughout North America
3. Retired Military Brass Support First Ladys Call to Reduce Child Obesity, Improve Nutrition
4. NASBE Supports First Lady Michelle Obama in Fight Against Childhood Obesity
5. Chiquita Announces Support for School Salad Bar Campaign
6. In Support of the Lets Move Campaign to Fight Childhood Obesity, Verizon Thinkfinity Providing Free Educational Resources on Nutrition and Exercise
7. Poll Shows Eroding Support for Health Reform
8. Als Angels Love and Laughter Event to Support Children and Families in Desperate Need
9. IHRSA Heartily Applauds First Lady's "Let's Move" Initiative and Vows Support
10. Formotus Announces Support for Mobile Business Forms on Android Phones
11. Bluestar Silicones Launches a New Range of Silbione(R) TCS 7560 & 7561 Elastomers for Lingerie, Support Stockings and Medical Textile Applications
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Peer Support Beats Usual Care for Depression, Analysis Finds
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer ... they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights ... American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice ... "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss ... plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pa. , June 23, 2016 Bracket ... will launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA ... Meeting held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... the first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind ... Booth #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in Bogota. Colombia ... ... ... ... Astellas is a pharmaceutical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast ... an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times ... hours per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and ... patient, but especially grueling for patients who are elderly ... a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: