Evid Based Med 6:119 doi:10.1136/ebm.6.4.119
  • Therapeutics

Psychological therapy reduced depression earlier (4 months) but at 1 year was not better than usual general practitioner care

 QUESTION: In patients with depression, is psychological therapy (non-directive counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT]) more effective than usual general practitioner (GP) care?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), unblinded,* controlled trial with 1 year follow up. This abstract reports the results of the randomised 3 way comparison only (197 of 464 patients).


13 general practices in northern London and 11 practices in greater Manchester, UK.


197 patients who were ≥18 years of age (mean age 37 y, 77% women) and were depressed or depressed and anxious (score ≥14 on Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]). Exclusion criteria were serious suicidal intent, psychological treatment in previous 6 months, use of antidepressants, restricted mobility, organic brain syndromes, or inability to complete questionnaires. Follow up was 91% at 4 months and 84% at 1 year.


Patients were allocated to non-directive counselling (n=67), CBT (n=63), …