A study published in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday, stated that the benefits of talk therapy for depression has been overrated in medical literature. Depression is treated with medication and talk therapy and studies in the past have shown their effectiveness ion both ways.
The analysis found that cognitive behavior therapy and interpersonal therapy are effective, and found that therapy for depression is effective for 20 percent of the patients, rather than the previous figure of 20 percent. Researchers analysed 55 studies funded by the U.S Institutes of National Health between 1972 and 2008, and found that psychological therapy is about 25 percent less effective than previously thought.
“The efficacy of psychological interventions for depression has been overestimated in the published literature,,just as it been for pharmacotherapy,” wrote the authors.
Steven Hollon, a professor of psychological at Vanderbilt University, Amsterdam and an author of the study said medication and talk therapy are efficacious. Study leader Ellen Driessen of VU, mentioned that psychological therapy has been considered more effective than it really is, partially because of the fact that many studies with poor results were not published in journals.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the US, with major depressive disorder (MDD), affecting about 6.7 percent of adults. Surveys have found that five to six million Americans receive talk therapy for depression each year, with may taking antidepressant drugs. Experts added that most people find relief by consulting a doctor regularly about the problem.
Critics of antidepressants pointed out that people with depression should avoid drug treatment, after the study was published. Dr. Erik Turner, an associate professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University and the lead author said the seems to be the magic number, a quarter – about the same you see in pharma trails of antidepressants.
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