Home | Contents | Living Well | Events | Self-Help | Recommended Reading
View Guestbook

Contact Us

  Phone-Based Therapy Seen Helpful for Depression
Content provided by Reuters
Saturday, April 21, 2007

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Combining psychotherapy, delivered over the telephone, with medication seems to improve the outcome of depression treatment, research shows. In the United States, people who suffer depression are typically treated with an antidepressant, often prescribed by a primary care doctor, without formal psychotherapy. Yet a type of psychotherapy called "cognitive-behavior" therapy or CBT has been shown to help curb depression. CBT involves learning to recognize and address distorted thoughts and feelings that lead to emotional distress. CBT is usually performed in an office setting.

In their study, Dr. Evette J. Ludman and colleagues from Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, Washington, randomly assigned 393 depressed patients initiating antidepressant medication to usual care alone or with telephone-based CBT, consisting of 8 sessions during the first 6 months and 2 to 4 "booster" sessions in the second 6 months.

All patients were contacted for outcome assessments at 6 weeks and at various time points up to 18 months after the start of the study.

Improvement of depression was greater in patients in the phone therapy group than in those assigned to usual care, Ludman and colleagues found.

At 18 months, 77 percent of patients in the phone therapy group reported their depression was "much improved" or "very much improved," compared to 63 percent of those in the usual-care group, a significant difference favoring phone-based CBT. Subjects in the phone therapy group were also slightly better at taking their antidepressant medication as recommended.

This study, the authors conclude, suggests that the "addition of a brief, structured CBT program can significantly improve clinical outcomes for the large number of patients beginning antidepressant treatment in primary care."
SOURCE: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, April 2007.
Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited



Recommended Reading

Alberti, R. E., and M. L. Emmons, Your Perfect Right: A Guide to Assertive Living. California: Impact, 1990. Paper, $9.95.

Baer, Jean, How to Be an Assertive (Not Aggressive) Woman in Life, in Love, and on the Job. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1991. Paper, $5.99.

Barlow, David H., Anxiety and Its Disorders. New York: Guilford, 1988. Hardback, $67.95. The most comprehensive professional explication of anxiety causes and treatments.

Barlow, David, and Ronald Rapec, Mastering Stress: A Lifestyle Approach. New York: American Health Publishers, 1991. Paper, $18.95.

Bass, Ellen, and Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993. Paper, $8.

Beattie, Melody, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself. New York: Harper/Hazelden, 1987. Paper, $10.

Beck, Aaron T., Love is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems through Cognitive Therapy. New York: Harper Collins, 1989. Paper, $12.

Benson, Herbert, The Relaxation Response. New York, Outlet, 1993. Paper, $7.99. Techniques from meditation applied to help relax in everyday life.

Black, Claudia, It Will Never Happen to Me. New York: Ballantine, 1987. Paper, $5.95. One of the first books to explain codependency, and a classic.

Bloomfield, Harold H., M.D., and Peter McWilliams, How to Heal Depression. Los Angeles: Prelude, 1994. Hardback, $14.95. Self-help, directive, very good advice.

Bourne, Edmund J., The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 1990. Paper, $13.95. Very detailed, practical information; lots of helpful exercises to practice alone or use in a group

Bower, S. A., and G. H. Bower, Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1991. Paper, $10.53.

Briggs, Dorothy, Celebrate Yourself: Enhance Your Own Self Esteem. New York: Doubleday, 1986. Paper, $9.95.

Briggs, Dorothy, Your Child's Self-Esteem: the Key to His Life. New York: Doubleday, 1975. Paper, $10.95.

Burka, Jane B., Ph.D., and Lenora M. Yuen, Ph.D., Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1990. Paper, $6.95. A very thorough, thoughtful treatment of this subject.

Burns, David, M.D., Feeling Good. New York: Avon, 1992. Paper, $5.99. cognitive treatment of depression in a self-help framework.

Burns, David, M.D., The Feeling Good Handbook: Using the New Mood Therapy in Everyday Life. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1990. Paper, $14.

Charlesworth, Edward A., and Ronald G. Nathan, Stress Management. New York: Ballantine, 1985. Paper, $5.99.

Colgrove, Melba, Harold H. Bloomfield, and Peter McWilliams, How to Survive the Loss of a Love. New York: Bantam, 1991. Paper, $12.

Copeland, Mary Ellen, The Depression Workbook (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 1992). This is real self-help, a long compendium of exercises and advice meant to be used as an individual workbook. Paper, $17.95.

Coyne, James C., ed., Essential Papers on Depression. New York: New York University Press, 1986. Hardback, $25. Professional review of theories.

Cronkite, Kathy, On the Edge of Darkness.: Conversations about Conquering Depression. New York: Dell Paperback, 1994. $12.95. Celebrities and others describe their experiences. Very well-written, with good dramatic examples that will lend you courage and inspiration.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, Flow. New York: Harper & Row, 1990. $13.95. Psychological research of peak experiences--how to access a creative state of mind--very readable, very helpful with depression.

Curran, Dolores, Stress and the Healthy Family. New York: Harper Collins, 1993. Paper, $5.50.

Davis, Martha, E. R. Eshelman, and M. McKay, The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. New York: New Harbinger,1988. Paper, $13.95.

Dodson, Fitzhugh, How to Discipline with Love. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1987. Paper, $5.99. Dodson's books are minor classics.

Dodson, Fitzhugh, How to Father. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1992. Paper, $5.99.

Dodson, Fitzhugh, How to Parent. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1988. Paper, $5.99.

Dowling, Colette, You Mean I Don't Have to Feel This Way?: New Help for Depression, Anxiety, and Addiction. New York: Bantam, 1991. Paper, $11.95. Very readable, persuasive, helpful. Describes her own family experience well.

Dreikurs, Rudolf, and Lawrence Zuckerman, Children the Challenge. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1991. Paper, $10.

Dunne, Edward J., John L. McIntosh, and Karen Dunne-Maxim, Suicide and Its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling the Survivors. New York: Norton, 1987.

Elkin, Michael, Families Under the Influence: Changing Alcoholic Patterns. New York: Norton, 1990. Paper, $9.95.

Ellis, Albert and Robert Harper, A New Guide to Rational Living. Los Angeles: Wilshire, 1975. Paper, $7. Ellis's Rational-Emotive Therapy, a useful forerunner to cognitive therapy for those who feel ready to face their problems.

Faber, Adele and Elaine Mazlich, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. New York: Avon, 1982. Paper, $14. Very good concrete advice about communicating with children.

Fieve, Ronald R., M.D. Moodswing. New York: Morrow, rev. ed. 1989. $22.95. This book has been a standard since 1975, last updated in 1989, so doesn't refer to Prozac and its congeners. Emphasis on bipolar disorder.

Fiore, Neil A., The Now Habit: Overcoming Procrastination Through Quality Work and Guilt-Free Play. New York: J. P. Tarcher, 1989. Paper, $8.95.

Frankl, Victor, Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. Boston: Beacon, 1992. Paper, $15. Frankl, an Auschwitz survivor, addresses the meaning of life in a very moving book.

Gravitz, Herbert L., and Julie D. Bowden, Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics. New York: Fireside, 1987. Paper, $7.95.

Hyatt, Carole, and Linda Gottlieb, When Smart People Fail. New York: Penguin, 1993. Paper, $12. An analysis of self-destructive behavior, and the effects of disappointment on self-esteem.

James, John W., and Frank Cherry, The Grief Recovery Handbook. New York: Harper Perennial, 1989. Paper, $10.

Jamison, Kay Redfield, An Unquiet Mind. New York: Knopf, 1995. $22.00. A respected researcher reveals her own struggle with bipolar disorder. Well written and interesting.

Johnson, Vernon, I'll Quit Tomorrow. New York: Harper, 1990. Paper, $10.

Karp, David. Speaking of Sadness. New York: Oxford, 1996. Hardback, $25.00. Karp is a sociologist and a sufferer from depression. His book is a fascinating analysis about the social effects and meaning of depression in contemporary American society.

Klein, Donald F., M.D., and Paul H. Wender, M.D., Understanding Depression: A Complete Guide to its Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. Paper, $7.95. Klein is a leading researcher in pharmacological treatment of depression, and presents it here as a brain disease. This is a comprehensive and useful review, surprisingly readable.

Kramer, Peter, M.D., Listening to Prozac. New York: Viking Penguin, 1993. Paper, $22.50. A fascinating book about chemistry and character, also a sensitive and thorough discussion of depression.

Kübler-Ross, Elizabeth, Death: The Final Stage of Growth. New York, Touchstone, 1986. Paper, $9. The most accessible book from the originator of current understanding on death and dying.

Kushner, Harold S., When Bad Things Happen to Good People. New York: Avon, 1983. Paper, $4.99. Very readable and comforting.

Lerner, Harriet Goldhor, Ph.D., The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships. New York: Harper Collins, 1989. Paper, $12.

LeShan, Eda, Learning to Say Goodby: When a Child's Parent Dies. New York: Avon, 1988. Paper, $8.

Manning, Martha, Undercurrents. San Francisco: Harper, 1994. Paper, $12.00. A therapist's diary of two years' struggle with depression, leading to ECT.

McCoy, Kathleen, Crisis Proof Your Teenager: How to Recognize, Prevent, and Deal With Risky Adolescent Behavior. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1991. Paper, $4.99.

McCoy, Kathleen, Understanding Your Teenager's Depression. New York: NAL-Dutton, 1985. Paper, $4.95.

McGrath, Ellen, Ph.D., When Feeling Bad is Good. New York, Bantam,1992. $22.50. A feminist view of depression in women, stressing that it is often a response to an unhealthy society, and suggesting more adaptive responses. Good concrete advice and clear case illustrations.

Milam, James, and Katherine Ketcham, Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism. New York: Bantam, 1984. Paper, $5.50.

Miller, Alice, The Drama of the Gifted Child (Prisoners of Childhood). New York: Basic, 1981. Paper. $11.50. Misleading title: it really concerns the creation of depression in the child.

Miller, Lyle, Alma Dell Smith, The Stress Solution. New York: Pocket Books, 1993. Paper, $22.

Moore, Thomas, Care of the Soul. New York: Harper Collins, 1992. $25.00. Coming to terms with the differing needs of parts of our selves, especially the spiritual side.

Neuman, Frederic, Fighting Fear: The Eight-Week Program for Treating Your Own Phobias. New York: Bantam, 1986. Paper, $3.95.

Norwood, Robin, Women Who Love Too Much. New York: Pocket Books, 1989. $6.99.

Osherson, Samuel, Finding Our Fathers: How a Man's Life is Shaped by His Relationship with His Father. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1987. Paper, $10.

Osherson, Samuel, Wrestling with Love: How a Man Struggles with Intimacy. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1993. Paper, $10.

Papolos, Demitri F., and Janice Papolos, Overcoming Depression. New York, Harper Collins, 1992. Paper, $13. Despite the title, this book focuses on explaining depression and how to get help, not on recovery. Good, very practical advice.

Peck, M. Scott., The Road Less Traveled. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978. A wise, classic book, very helpful for the depressive in recovery.

Peurifoy, Reneau Z., Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic: Taking Charge and Conquering Fear. New York: Life Skills, 1992. Paper, $12.95.

Pittman, Frank S., M.D., Man Enough: Fathers, Sons, and the Search for Masculinity. New York: Putnam, 1993. $22.95. Highly recommended.

Scarf, Maggie, Unfinished Business: Pressure Points in the Lives of Women. New York: Ballantine, 1980. Paper, $4.95. Depression through a woman's life cycle. Well written and readable.

Scarf, Maggie, Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage. New York: Ballantine, 1988. Paper, $5.95. This is a very helpful and accessible book that popularizes much of what family therapy understands about love and marriage.

Seligman, Martin, Learned Optimism. New York: Pocket Books, 1992. Paper, $10. An excellent resource, surprisingly interesting, personal, and readable.

Seligman, Martin, What You Can Change and What You Can't. New York: Fawcett, 1994. Paper. $12.00. A thorough review of the state of current knowledge about self-modification, from alcoholism through sexual dysfunction.

Sholevar, G. Pirooz, and Linda Schwoeri, eds., The Transmission of Depression in Families and Children: Assessment and Intervention. Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson, 1994. Hardback. $40.00

Smith, Hyrum W., The Ten Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management. New York: Warner, 1994.

Smith, Manual, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty. New York: Bantam, 1985. Paper, $5.99.

Staudacher, Carol, Beyond Grief: A Guide for Recovering from the Death of a Loved One. New York: Active Parenting, 1987. Paper, $10.95.

Styron, William, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. New York: Random House, 1990. Paper, $8. Styron's account of his struggle with depression at the height of his fame.

Tannen, Deborah, Ph.D., You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. New York: Ballantine, 1991. Paper, $12.

Tavris, Carol, Anger: the Misunderstood Emotion. New York: Touchstone, 1989. Paper, $11.

Thompson, Tracy, The Beast. New York: Putnam, 1995. $23.95. Journalist's account of descent into and recovery from major depression.

Thorne, Julia, and Larry Rothstein, You Are Not Alone: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey Through Depression. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993. Paper, $10. Inspirational self-help, reflections and meditations.

Wilson, R. Reid, Don't Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks. New York: Harper Collins, 1987. Paper, $12.

Winston, Stephanie, Getting Organized: the Easy Way to Put Your Life in Order. New York: Warner, 1991. Paper, $10.95. Reducing chaos in your life.

Woititz, Janet Geringer, Adult Children of Alcoholics. New York, Health Communications,1990. Paper, $8.95.

Wolf, Anthony E., Ph.D., Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager. New York: Noonday Press, 1991. Paper, $10.80.

Zimbardo, Philip, Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It. New York: Addison-Wesley, 1977. Paper, $12.00. A classic of self-modification.

Related Pages: Gift Suggestions