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Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Reduce Relapse Rates of Depression After ECT? A Preliminary Study

Fenton, Lisa PsyD; Fasula, Madonna APRN, CSN; Ostroff, Robert MD; Sanacora, Gerard MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.yct.0000235201.42287.b4
Original Article: Original Study

Objective: The goal of this study was to explore the potential of providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) after an index course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression to improve long-term outcome.

Method: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale were used to assess depression and treatment outcome for 6 patients who received 12 weeks of CBT after an index course and concurrent with a continuation course of ECT.

Results: Patients either maintained their response or showed decreased depressive symptoms at the 6-month post-index ECT evaluation. At the 9-month follow-up, 5 of 6 patients had BDI scores below their post-index ECT scores. The CGIs were rated "much improved" or "very much improved" by 5 patients at the termination of CBT. All 6 patients maintained or improved their CGIs at the 6-month follow-up.

Conclusions: These results provide preliminary evidence that CBT after ECT is feasible and may extend the antidepressant effects ofECT.

From the Yale Depression Research Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

Received for publication January 12, 2006; accepted June 7, 2006.

These data have been presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Association for Convulsive Therapy, Atlanta, Ga, May 19, 2005 and the 39th Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington, DC, November 17-19, 2005.

Grant support was provided through a 2002 Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.

Reprints: Lisa Fenton, PsyD, Yale Depression Research Clinic, 100 York St, Suite 2 J, New Haven, CT 06511.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.