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Monthly Therapy Prevents Depression Relapse

Maintenance interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) can prevent recurrence of depression for many women with chronic depression. The therapy, delivered at monthly intervals, focuses on relationships and interpersonal events that tend to trigger depression.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that once-per-month maintenance IPT was effective in preventing recurrence of depression in women who manage their depression using cognitve behavioral therapy.

In fact, women who received prophylactic IPT once a month were no more likely to have a recurrence of their depression than those who received IPT two or four times a month.

Maintenance IPT was found to be less effective for preventing recurrence in women who achieved remission through combination IPT and antidepressant therapy.

The study is published in the May issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“Studies have shown that when a person recovers from depression by using medication, the best way for them to stay well is to continue on the same dosage of medication.

However, many people, especially women of childbearing age or those taking medications for other conditions, may not feel comfortable taking antidepressants for long periods of time,” said Ellen Frank, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“We found that interpersonal psychotherapy is a valid alternative to help women with recurrent depression remain symptom-free, especially women who were able to recover from a depressive episode using therapy alone.”

“Our study indicates, as many prior studies have, that not every person’s depression is the same, nor should each person be treated the same way,” said Dr. Frank.

“Some people respond best to therapy, others to medication and others to a combination of the two. It’s important that clinicians evaluate their patients carefully to determine the best treatment for each individual.”

Source: University of Pittsburgh

Monthly Therapy Prevents Depression Relapse

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Monthly Therapy Prevents Depression Relapse. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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