Thursday, January 03, 2008

Combination therapy, social functioning and depression

People with depression often have problems at work, in their social life and in their family life and these problems get worse the more severe their depression is. Social functioning can improve after treatment with antidepressants but seldom gets back to a 'normal' level. A Dutch study of 167 people looked into whether combination therapy (psychotherapy plus antidepressants) could improve patients' social functioning. The participants were split into two groups. One group received pharmacotherapy while the other group received pharmacotherapy plus 16 sessions of short, psychodynamic supportive psychotherapy. Severity of depression decreased significantly more in the psychotherapy group and the number of dimensions of social functioning that had improved significantly was also higher in the psychotherapy group who had a larger improvement in their overall social functioning than those taking antidepressants alone.

Molenaar, Pieter J. ... [et al] - Does adding psychotherapy to pharmacotherapy improve social functioning in the treatment of depression ? Depression and Anxiety 24(8), 553-562

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