Topic: Depression Treatment (Adult)

Scientific Ratings in this topic:

1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence

2 - Supported by Research Evidence

3 - Promising Research Evidence

4 - Evidence Fails to Demonstrate Effect

5 - Concerning Practice

NR - Not able to be Rated

Learn more about the scale

Definition for Depression Treatment (Adult):

Depression Treatment (Adult) is defined by the CEBC as the treatment of adults with a diagnosis of a depressive disorder, or with elevated symptoms of depression as demonstrated by a standardized screening or assessment tool. Common symptoms may include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, feeling worthless, and/or lack of motivation.

The CEBC has evaluated only replicable programs that do not use medication as an essential component of treatment. It is well-known that many well-researched medication-based (pharmacological) treatments of depression exist. The Pharmacological Treatment for Depression page has links to reputable organizations that list information on these medications.

  • Target population: Adults with the symptoms of depression or who are experiencing major depression
  • Services/types that fit: Typically outpatient services, either individual or group
  • Delivered by: Mental health professionals
  • In order to be included: Program must specifically target depression as a goal
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines depression-related outcomes, such changes in symptom levels, behaviors, and/or functioning
Downloadable Topic Area Summary

Programs in this Topic Area

The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.

Seven Programs with a Scientific Rating of 1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence:

Two Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:

Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?

The Depression Treatment (Adult) topic area is relevant to child welfare because of the prevalence of parental depression in child welfare systems and the potential negative consequences to the child. In general, a parent's mental health status can affect their parental effectiveness as it relates to bonding and attachment; age appropriate discipline and play; limit setting; and supervision and protection from dangerous situations.

Assessing for and addressing parental depression as part of a parent's case plan is critical in maximizing parent/child visitation; ensuring a parent's success in reunifying with their children; and strengthening ongoing community supports to decrease the likelihood that the family will reenter the child welfare system in the future.

Furthermore, as the major funding sources for mental health treatment become more and more restrictive, it is important that the child welfare system identifies approaches that offer relief to parents in an effective, focused and time-limited manner.

Renee Smylie, MSW
Former CEBC Advisory Committee member

Topic Expert

The Depression Treatment (Adult) topic area was added in 2010. Barbara J. Burns, PhD was the topic expert and was involved in identifying and rating any of the programs with an original load date in 2010 (as found on the bottom of the program's page on the CEBC) or others loaded earlier and added to this topic area when it launched. The topic area has grown over the years and any programs added since 2010 were identified by CEBC staff, the Scientific Panel, and/or the Advisory Committee. For these programs, Dr. Burns was not involved in identifying or rating them.