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The effects of once- versus twice-weekly sessions on psychotherapy outcomes in depressed patients

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2020

Sanne J. E. Bruijniks
Affiliation:
Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Clinical Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg, Germany
Lotte H. J. M. Lemmens
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Steven D. Hollon
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA
Frenk P. M. L. Peeters
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Pim Cuijpers
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Arnoud Arntz
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Pieter Dingemanse
Affiliation:
Clinical Psychologist, Department of Mood Disorders, Altrecht Mental Health Institute, The Netherlands
Linda Willems
Affiliation:
Health Care Psychologist, Department of Mood Disorders, GGZ Oost Brabant, The Netherlands
Patricia van Oppen
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit/GGZ inGeest and Public Health Research Institute, The Netherlands
Jos W. R. Twisk
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Michael van den Boogaard
Affiliation:
Senior Researcher, Department of Affective Disorders, PsyQ, Parnassia Group, The Netherlands
Jan Spijker
Affiliation:
Professor, Center of Depression Expertise, Pro Persona Mental Health Care; and Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Judith Bosmans
Affiliation:
Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Section of Health Economics & Health Technology Assessment, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Marcus J. H. Huibers
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
Corresponding

Abstract

Background

It is unclear what session frequency is most effective in cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for depression.

Aims

Compare the effects of once weekly and twice weekly sessions of CBT and IPT for depression.

Method

We conducted a multicentre randomised trial from November 2014 through December 2017. We recruited 200 adults with depression across nine specialised mental health centres in the Netherlands. This study used a 2 × 2 factorial design, randomising patients to once or twice weekly sessions of CBT or IPT over 16–24 weeks, up to a maximum of 20 sessions. Main outcome measures were depression severity, measured with the Beck Depression Inventory-II at baseline, before session 1, and 2 weeks, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 months after start of the intervention. Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted.

Results

Compared with patients who received weekly sessions, patients who received twice weekly sessions showed a statistically significant decrease in depressive symptoms (estimated mean difference between weekly and twice weekly sessions at month 6: 3.85 points, difference in effect size d = 0.55), lower attrition rates (n = 16 compared with n = 32) and an increased rate of response (hazard ratio 1.48, 95% CI 1.00–2.18).

Conclusions

In clinical practice settings, delivery of twice weekly sessions of CBT and IPT for depression is a way to improve depression treatment outcomes.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 2020

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Footnotes

Declaration of interest: None.

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