Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Self help books and websites can benefit severely depressed patients

Date:
February 26, 2013
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Patients with more severe depression show at least as good clinical benefit from 'low-intensity' interventions, such as self help books and websites, as less severely ill patients, suggests a new article.

Patients with severe depression show at least as good clinical benefit from 'low-intensity' interventions, such as self help books and interactive websites, as less severely ill patients, according to new research by The University of Manchester.

Related Articles


Depression is a major cause of disability worldwide and effective management of this is a key challenge for health care systems.

The study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), confirmed evidence that 'low-intensity' interventions provide significant clinical benefit. Initial severity of depression is one of the key variables determining who gets 'low' or 'high' intensity treatment, but this is largely based on epidemiological studies and clinical experience rather than high quality evidence.

Researchers from an international collaboration carrid out a meta-analysis of several studies involving 2470 patients with depression, all treated in a non-hospital setting. All studies were from the year 2000 or later with a sample size of more than 50 patients. The mean age in all studies was 35-45, and studies included patients with lower levels of depressive symptoms, as well as those with quite severe depression.

'Low-intensity' treatment was defined as interventions designed to help patients manage depressive symptoms such as self-help books or interactive websites, often with limited guidance and support from a health professional. Self-help groups were excluded.

The researchers found that patients with more severe depression at baseline derive "at least as good clinical benefit from 'low-intensity' interventions as less severely ill patients." They recommend including 'low-intensity' interventions in the first step of treating severely ill patients and encouraging the majority of patients to use them as the initial treatment option.

Professor Peter Bower, from The University of Manchester who led the research, said: "To better manage depression in the community, many services seek to provide simple forms of psychological therapy (so called 'low intensity' interventions) to depressed patients. We assessed whether more severely ill patients demonstrated better or worse treatment effects from 'low-intensity' treatments. We found no clinically meaningful differences in treatment effects between more and less severely ill patients receiving 'low-intensity' interventions. Patients with more severe depression can be offered 'low-intensity' treatments as part of a stepped care model."

The researchers also say that an important research question for the future is whether low-intensity treatments are cost-effective and if "initial experience with low intensity interventions could act as a barrier to further treatment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Bower et al. Influence of initial severity of depression on effectiveness of low intensity interventions: meta-analysis of individual patient data. BMJ, 2013; 346 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f540

Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Self help books and websites can benefit severely depressed patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226194010.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2013, February 26). Self help books and websites can benefit severely depressed patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226194010.htm
University of Manchester. "Self help books and websites can benefit severely depressed patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226194010.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins