Topic: Depression Treatment (Adult)
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
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.
Five Programs with a Scientific Rating of 1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)Adults with depression; has also been used with adults with a variety of other mental health disorders and behavioral problems
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Adult DepressionAdults (18 and over) diagnosed with a mood disorder, including Unipolar Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Depressive Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and ...
- Cognitive Therapy (CT)Adults with mental health disorders including depression, anger, and anxiety among others - the program is also designed to include ...
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)Adults with depression
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)Adults (between 18-70 years old) who have suffered three or more prior episodes of major depression
One Program with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:
- Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)Adults with a broad range of disorders including personality disorders
Two Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:
- Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression (BATD)Depressed adults including those with substance abuse problems
- Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP)Chronically depressed adults
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
Barbara J. Burns, PhD, Professor of Medical Psychology
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Duke University