Background For severe and chronic depression, inpatient treatment may be necessary. Current guidelines recommend combined psychological and pharmacological treatments for moderate to severe depression. Results for positive effects of combined treatment for depressed inpatients are still ambiguous. Methods This randomised controlled trial examined the efficacy of adding an intensive and brief psychodynamic psychotherapy (IBPP) to treatment-as-usual (TAU) for inpatients with DSM-IV major depressive episode. The primary outcomes were reduction in depression severity, and response and remission rates at post-treatment, 3-month and 12-month follow-up points. Results A linear mixed model analysis (N=149) showed a higher reduction in the observer-rated severity of depressive symptoms at each follow-up point for the IBPP condition compared with the TAU condition (post-treatment ES=0.39, 95%CI 0.06–0.71; 3-month ES=0.46, 95%CI 0.14–0.78; 12-month ES=0.32, 95%CI 0.01–0.64). Response rate was superior in the IBPP group compared with the TAU group at all follow-up points (post-treatment OR =2.69, 95%CI 1.18–6.11; 3-month OR=3.47, 95%CI 1.47–8.25; 12-month OR=2.26, 95%CI 1.02–4.97). IBPP patients were more likely to be remitted 3 months (OR=2.82, 95%CI 1.12–7.10) and 12 months (OR=2.93, 95%CI 1.12–7.68) after discharge than TAU patients. Limitations Heterogeneous sample with different subtypes of depression and comorbidity. Conclusions IBPP decreased observer-rated depression severity up to 12 months after the end of treatment. IBPP demonstrated immediate and distant treatment responses as well as substantial remissions at follow-up. IBPP appears to be a valuable adjunct in the treatment of depressed inpatients.
de Roten, Y., Ambresin, G., Herrera, F., Fassassi, S., Fournier, N., Preisig, M., & Despland, J. N. (2017). Efficacy of an adjunctive brief psychodynamic psychotherapy to usual inpatient treatment of depression: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 209, 105–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.013