Cognitive-behavioral treatment for depression: relapse prevention

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1998 Apr;66(2):377-84. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.66.2.377.


This study presents 2-year follow-up data of a comparison between complete cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression (CT) and its 2 major components: behavioral activation and behavioral activation with automatic thought modification. Data are reported on 137 participants who were randomly assigned to 1 of these 3 treatments for up to 20 sessions with experienced cognitive-behavioral therapists. Long-term effects of the therapy were evaluated through relapse rates, number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic weeks, and survival times at 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month follow-ups. CT was no more effective than its components in preventing relapse. Both clinical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Recurrence
  • Thinking