Psychotherapy is Not as Efficient as Claimed For Depression

Treatment that includes a blend of talk treatments and stimulant medications is liable to work best, says study co-creator Steven Hollon, Ph.D., a brain science educator at Vanderbilt University, in an announcement in The New York Times – however he includes that continuous psychotherapy is still your best choice for battling off wretchedness forever.


Efficacy of psychological interventions for depression may have been overestimated in published literature, according to an analysis of NIH-funded randomized clinical trials.

Researchers say the benefits of psychotherapy for depression have been overstated by previous research as a result of publication bias. And the study authors call it “publication bias” because this process involves publishing again studies that continue to provide attractive results while not publishing those studies that do not provide the results desired.

“It’s like flipping a bunch of coins and only keeping the ones that come up heads”, Hollon said in a prepared statement. The grants were handed out for clinical trials of psychotherapy for depression.

Depression is one of the most common and disabling illnesses in the United States, affecting about 8 percent of people aged 12 or older during any two-week period, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention.

There are two types of psychotherapy: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).

Specialists said that there are 20% expanded shots of change in the wake of taking part in a course of very much tried psychotherapy. The investigators who led 11 of the remaining 13 studies turned over their unpublished data for the meta-analysis. The same is valid for drug-based treatments of depression, which are rarely effective, unless coupled with medical talks.

A group of researchers said that the effectiveness of talk therapy in treating depression is overemphasized because of publication bias.

The researchers were able to have the unpublished results.

“This study shows that publication bias occurs in psychotherapy, mirroring what we’ve seen previously with antidepressants and other drugs”, said co-author Erick Turner, associate professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at OHSU School of Medicine, who directed the 2008 study of antidepressants.

Hollon explains that, although studies are assessed through peer review, there are certain loopholes that allow the benefits of treatments to be overstated and possible risks to be understated.


The authors suggest that both the funding agencies and the journals should archive the original proposals and raw data from the trials – both published and unpublished – so that this form of reporting bias can be detected and corrected in the future.

Study: Scientists too optimistic about depression treatment