Rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and medication in the treatment of major depressive disorder: a randomized clinical trial, posttreatment outcomes, and six-month follow-up

J Clin Psychol. 2008 Jun;64(6):728-46. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20487.


A randomized clinical trial was undertaken to investigate the relative efficacy of rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT), cognitive therapy (CT), and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of 170 outpatients with nonpsychotic major depressive disorder. The patients were randomly assigned to one of the following: 14 weeks of REBT, 14 weeks of CT, or 14 weeks of pharmacotherapy (fluoxetine). The outcome measures used were the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Beck Depression Inventory. No differences among treatment conditions at posttest were observed. A larger effect of REBT (significant) and CT (nonsignificant) over pharmacotherapy at 6 months follow-up was noted on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression only.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Models, Psychological
  • Patient Compliance
  • Personality Inventory
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors