Levels of depressed mood and low interest for two years after response to cognitive therapy for recurrent depression.

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Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 374 words

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Keywords Depression; Cognitive therapy; Anhedonia; Positive affect; Negative affect; Continuation treatment Highlights * Major depressive disorder (MDD) involves depressed mood and low interest/pleasure. * We measured these symptoms during and after cognitive therapy (CT) for MDD. * Depressed mood and general interest improved more than sexual interest during CT. * These symptom differences persisted for at least two years after CT response. * Continuation CT or antidepressant medication did not change the symptom differences. Abstract Background Major depressive disorder (MDD) involves depressed mood (high negative affect, predominantly) and low interest/pleasure (low positive affect). In past research, negative affect has improved more than positive affect during acute-phase antidepressant medication or cognitive therapy (CT). We extended this literature by differentiating depressed mood and two dimensions of low interest (general and sexual), assessing persistence of symptom differences after acute-phase CT response, and testing whether continuation treatment acted differently on depressed mood versus low interest. Methods We analyzed data from two randomized controlled trials. Patients with recurrent MDD first received acute-phase CT. Then, responders were randomized to 8-month continuation treatments and assessed for 16-24 additional months. Results Depressed mood and low general interest improved more than low sexual interest during acute-phase CT. Among responders, these symptom differences persisted for at least 2 years and were not changed by continuation CT or antidepressant medication. Limitations Generalization of findings to other patient populations and treatments is uncertain. Depressed mood and low interest scales were constructed from standard symptom measures and overlapped empirically. Conclusions Less improvement during CT, and persistent low sexual interest despite continuation treatment, highlights the need for MDD treatments more effectively targeting this positive affective symptom. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Psychology, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO, USA (b) Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA (c) Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA (d) Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA * Corresponding author. Department of Psychology, Truman State University, 100 East Normal Street, Kirksville, MO, 63501-4221, USA. Article History: Received 26 April 2021; Revised 13 September 2021; Accepted 7 November 2021 Byline: Jeffrey R. Vittengl [vittengl@truman.edu] (a,*), Lee Anna Clark (b), Michael E. Thase (c), Robin B. Jarrett [robin.jarrett@utsouthwestern.edu] (d,**)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A687615525