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Journal Article

Citation

Vittengl JR, Stutzman S, Atluru A, Jarrett RB. Behav. Ther. 2020; 51(5): 739-752.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2020, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Publisher Elsevier Publishing)

DOI

10.1016/j.beth.2019.10.008

PMID

32800302

Abstract

Cognitive therapy (CT) is an efficacious treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD), but not all patients respond. Past research suggests that stressful life events (SLE; e.g., childhood maltreatment, emotional and physical abuse, relationship discord, physical illness) sometimes reduce the efficacy of depression treatment, whereas greater acquisition and use of CT skills may improve patient outcomes. In a sample of 276 outpatient participants with recurrent MDD, we tested the hypothesis that patients with more SLE benefit more from CT skills in attaining response and remaining free of relapse/recurrence. Patients with more pretreatment SLE did not develop weaker CT skills, on average, but were significantly less likely to respond to CT. However, SLE predicted non-response only for patients with relatively weak skills, and not for those with stronger CT skills. Similarly, among acute-phase responders, SLE increased risk for MDD relapse/recurrence among patients with weaker CT skills. Thus, the combination of more SLE and weaker CT skills forecasted negative outcomes. These novel findings are discussed in the context of improving CT for depression among patients with greater lifetime history of SLE and require replication before clinical application.


Language: en

Keywords

depression; skills; cognitive therapy; relapse; stressful life events

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