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Phone-based therapy somewhat effective.

The effectiveness of telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with major depression has mixed results, according to a study in the June 6 Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study found patients who received telephone counseling had lower rates of discontinuing treatment compared to those receiving in-person counseling. And the telephone counseling was not considered inferior to face-to-face treatment in terms of improving symptoms.

But the study also found six months after treatment began that patients receiving in-person counseling were less depressed than those receiving telephone counseling.

"The telephone offers the opportunity to extend care to populations that are difficult to reach, such as rural populations, patients with chronic illnesses and disabilities and others who have barriers to treatment," the study's authors wrote.

While depression is common, rates of starting and adhering to treatment have historically been low. The authors said telephone counseling could help improve the odds that people with depression are treated but "the increased risk of post-treatment deterioration in telephone-delivered treatment relative to face-to-face treatment underscores the importance of continued monitoring of depressive symptoms even after successful treatment."

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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2012
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