May 15, 2017
1 min read

More than 50% of low-intensity CBT patients relapse

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Recent findings indicated a high rate of relapse after low-intensity CBT for anxiety and depression, suggesting a need for relapse prevention, particularly among individuals with residual depressive symptoms.

“Our research highlights that, under the current system, some patients are being discharged too soon. As a result, patients who have low levels of depression at the time of discharge are more likely to relapse within a few months,” Shehzad Ali, MPH, PhD, of the University of York, United Kingdom, said in a press release.

To assess durability of remission after low-intensity forms of CBT for depression and anxiety, researchers examined relapse rates among 439 individuals 12 months after completion of routinely-delivered low-intensity CBT. Depression and anxiety measures were conducted during 12 months after treatment.

Overall, 53% of participants relapsed within 12 months. The majority of relapses (79%) occurred within the first 6 months’ posttreatment.

Participants who reported residual depression symptoms at treatment end were significantly more likely to relapse (HR = 1.9; P < .001).

“These findings underline the importance of monitoring patients’ well-being for at least 6 months after treatment and offering adequate support to ensure they stay well. We argue that relapse prevention is a crucial but often neglected aspect of psychological care in the NHS,” Jaime Delgadillo, PhD, of the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, said in the release. “Incomplete or insufficient treatment also costs the [National Health Service], as patients who relapse often need further care or support.” – by Amanda Oldt

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.