Research: BROWN and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 199

Abstract

BROWN and COLLEAGUES, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Butler Hospital/Brown Medical School, 345 Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, RI 02906, USA. Richard_Brown@Brown.edu replicated a previous pilot study which compared a relaxation training control with cognitive-behavioural treatment for depression, using larger sample size and longer follow-up period.

Background

A previous pilot study found positive outcomes among alcohol-dependent individuals with elevated depressive symptoms who received cognitive-behavioral treatment for depression (CBT-D; n = 19) compared with a relaxation training control (RTC; n = 16). The current study represents a replication of this pilot study using a larger sample size and a longer follow-up assessment period.

Methodology

Patients entering a partial hospital drug and alcohol treatment program who met criteria for alcohol dependence and elevated depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory score >= 15) were recruited and randomly assigned to receive eight individual sessions of CBT-D (n = 81) or RTC (n = 84).

Results

There were significant improvements in depressive and alcohol use outcomes over time for all participants. Compared with RTC, the CBT-D condition had significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms, as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory, at the 6-week follow-up. However, this effect was inconsistent because there were no differences in the Modified Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression between conditions at that time point and there were no significant differences at any other follow-up. No significant between-group differences on alcohol use outcomes were found.

Conclusion

The current findings did not replicate the positive outcomes observed in the CBT-D condition in our previous pilot study. Possible explanations for why these findings were not replicated are discussed, as are theoretical and clinical implications of using CBT-D in alcohol treatment.

References

Brown RA, Ramsey SE, Kahler CW, Palm KM, Monti PM, Abrams D, Dubreuil M, Gordon A and Miller IW. A randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral treatment for depression versus relaxation training for alcohol-dependent individuals with elevated depressive symptoms. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs. 72(2):286-96, 2011 Mar. Other ID Source: NLM. PMC3052898 [Available on 03/01/12].

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