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Sudden gains in behavioural activation for depression

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JournalBehaviour research and therapy
DatePublished - Sep 2014
Volume60
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)34-38
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Sudden gains have been linked to improved outcomes in cognitive behaviour therapy for depression. The relationship between sudden gains and outcome is less clear in other treatment modalities, including interpersonal psychotherapy and supportive expressive therapy, which may indicate different mechanisms of change between treatment modalities. The current study examined sudden gains in adults meeting diagnostic criteria for depression (N = 40) offered up to 12 sessions of behavioural activation treatment. Sudden gains were found in 42.5% of the sample. Sudden gains occurred early (median pre-gain session 2) and were related to outcome: those who experienced a sudden gain had significantly lower post-treatment scores on the PHQ-9. Furthermore, the proportion meeting the reliable and clinically significant change criteria at end of treatment was higher in the sudden gain group. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the mechanisms by which sudden gains relate to therapy outcome in behavioural activation.

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Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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