Background: The mood disorders are prevalent and problematic. We review randomized controlled psychotherapy trials to find those that are empirically supported with respect to acute symptom reduction and the prevention of subsequent relapse and recurrence.
Methods: We searched the PsycINFO and PubMed databases and the reference sections of chapters and journal articles to identify appropriate articles.
Results: One hundred twenty-five studies were found evaluating treatment efficacy for the various mood disorders. With respect to the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and behavior therapy (BT) are efficacious and specific and brief dynamic therapy (BDT) and emotion-focused therapy (EFT) are possibly efficacious. CBT is efficacious and specific, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) efficacious, and BDT and EFT possibly efficacious in the prevention of relapse/recurrence following treatment termination and IPT and CBT are each possibly efficacious in the prevention of relapse/recurrence if continued or maintained. IPT is possibly efficacious in the treatment of dysthymic disorder. With respect to bipolar disorder (BD), CBT and family-focused therapy (FFT) are efficacious and interpersonal social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) possibly efficacious as adjuncts to medication in the treatment of depression. Psychoeducation (PE) is efficacious in the prevention of mania/hypomania (and possibly depression) and FFT is efficacious and IPSRT and CBT possibly efficacious in preventing bipolar episodes.
Conclusions: The newer psychological interventions are as efficacious as and more enduring than medications in the treatment of MDD and may enhance the efficacy of medications in the treatment of BD.
Depression and Anxiety, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.