Author(s): Ankarberg P, Falkenstrm F
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Abstract Depression treatment with antidepressants is generally described as evidence-based. However, generalizations to practice recommendations seem to us to rest on the tacit assumption that treatment outcome in research trials is the sum of three factors: specific effects of the drug, expectancy effects (placebo), and spontaneous recovery. Because randomization isolates the specific effects of the drug, trials showing significant drug effects are used as evidence for prescribing the drug regardless of context. Drawing on Wampold's (2001) description of two metamodels of psychotherapy, the authors argue that available empirical evidence indicates that depression treatment with antidepressants is primarily a psychological treatment. This conclusion has far-reaching consequences for the scientific status of contemporary treatments for depression. It also affects what the doctor should focus on in a treatment with antidepressants and how to act when the patient is treatment resistant. In order to achieve the results obtained in clinical trials, the quantity and quality of support from the doctor is more important than pharmacological concerns, such as adequate doses of medicine. When faced with a treatment resistant patient, relationship factors rather than pharmacological factors should be in focus. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
This article was published in Psychotherapy (Chic)
and referenced in Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology & Mental Health