Background: The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) has revised its 2009 guidelines for the management of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults by updating the evidence and recommendations. The target audiences for these 2016 guidelines are psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
Methods: Using the question-answer format, we conducted a systematic literature search focusing on systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Evidence was graded using CANMAT-defined criteria for level of evidence. Recommendations for lines of treatment were based on the quality of evidence and clinical expert consensus. "Psychological Treatments" is the second of six sections of the 2016 guidelines.
Results: Evidence-informed responses were developed for 25 questions under 5 broad categories: 1) patient characteristics relevant to using psychological interventions; 2) therapist and health system characteristics associated with optimizing outcomes; 3) descriptions of major psychotherapies and their efficacy; 4) additional psychological interventions, such as peer interventions and computer- and technology-delivered interventions; and 5) combining and/or sequencing psychological and pharmacological interventions.
Conclusions: First-line psychological treatment recommendations for acute MDD include cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and behavioural activation (BA). Second-line recommendations include computer-based and telephone-delivered psychotherapy. Where feasible, combining psychological treatment (CBT or IPT) with antidepressant treatment is recommended because combined treatment is superior to either treatment alone. First-line psychological treatments for maintenance include CBT and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Patient preference, in combination with evidence-based treatments and clinician/system capacity, will yield the optimal treatment strategies for improving individual outcomes in MDD.
Keywords: biopsychosocial; clinical practice guidelines; cognitive-behavioural therapy; evidence-based medicine; interpersonal therapy; major depressive disorder; meta-analysis; mindfulness-based interventions; psychotherapy; systematic reviews.
© The Author(s) 2016.