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Lasting Benefits from Depression Treatment

A review of a long-term study suggests depression treatment has lasting benefits.

Unfortunately, experts believe only one-half of individuals who would benefit from depression treatment receive care.

Canadian researcher Ian Colman, an epidemiologist in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, reviewed a long-running national population health study.

He discovered depressed adults who use antidepressants are three times less likely to be depressed eight years later, compared to depressed adults who don’t use antidepressants.

Research on use of antidepressant treatments for major depression remains limited. Studies have focused on short-term outcomes and there is limited knowledge about long-term results.

However, it’s important to note that it’s unlikely that the effects are just the result of ongoing treatment. Colman said, “It’s more likely that results from the study speak to the importance of getting evidence-based treatment, drugs or other therapies, in the first place and treatments that ensure that all of your symptoms are resolved.”

Colman also stresses that, while proper treatment is vital, he also points out the importance of treatment that continues until an individual’s symptoms have completely ceased.

“It’s common that depressed individuals will have a partial remission of symptoms where they feel better but some symptoms remain; those people have poor long-term outcomes,” he said.

“It’s important to have successful treatment that deals with all of your symptoms.”

Colman hopes the new study is insightful for the more than 50 per cent of people who are depressed are not receiving treatment. He hopes improved symptom recognition along with acceptance of the illness and the benefits of intervention will lead more people to receive appropriate care.

Successful treatment of depression often relies on a combination of psychotherapy and medications. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in particular focus on problem-solving and skills building and help the patient deal with stressful situations.

“Evidence suggests that cognitive behavioral therapies are as effective as anti-depressants, and the two treatments together is even more effective,” he said.

Colman’s study is found in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Source: University of Alberta

Lasting Benefits from Depression Treatment

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. (2015). Lasting Benefits from Depression Treatment. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 25, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/04/08/lasting-benefits-from-depression-treatment/25127.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.