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BackgroundSuicidal ideation (SI) is common in chronic depression, but only limited evidence exists for the assumption that psychological treatments for depression are effective for reducing SI. Methods In the present study, the effects of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT; group version) plus treatment-as-usual (TAU: individual treatment by either a psychiatrist or a licensed psychotherapist, including medication when indicated) and Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP; group version) plus TAU on SI was compared to TAU alone in a prospective, bi-center, randomized controlled trial. The sample consisted of 106 outpatients with chronic depression. Results Multivariate regression analyses revealed different results, depending on whether SI was assessed via self-report (Beck Depression Inventory suicide item) or via clinician rating (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale suicide item). Whereas significant reduction of SI emerged when assessed via clinician rating in the MBCT and CBASP group, but not in the TAU group while controlling for changes in depression, there was no significant effect of treatment on SI when assessed via self-report. Limitations SI was measured with only two single items. Conclusions Because all effects were of small to medium size and were independent of effects from other depression symptoms, the present results warrant the application of such psychotherapeutical treatment strategies like MBCT and CBASP for SI in patients with chronic depression.
BackgroundChronic depression is a severe and disabling condition. Compared to an episodic course, chronic depression has been shown to be less responsive to psychopharmacological and psychological treatments. The cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) has been developed as a specific psychotherapy for chronic depression. However, conflicting results concerning its efficacy have been reported in randomized‐controlled trials (RCT). Therefore, we aimed at examining the efficacy of CBASP using meta‐analytical methods. Methods Randomized‐controlled trials assessing the efficacy of CBASP in chronic depression were identified by searching electronic databases (PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) and by manual searches (citation search, contacting experts). Searching period was restricted from the first available entry to October 2015. Identified studies were systematically reviewed. The standardized mean difference Hedges' g was calculated from posttreatment and mean change scores. The random‐effects model was used to compute combined overall effect sizes. A risk of publication bias was addressed using fail‐safe N calculations and trim‐and‐fill analysis. Results Six studies comprising 1.510 patients met our inclusion criteria. The combined overall effect sizes of CBASP versus other treatments or treatment as usual (TAU) pointed to a significant effect of small magnitude (g = 0.34–0.44, P < 0.01). In particular, CBASP revealed moderate‐to‐high effect sizes when compared to TAU and interpersonal psychotherapy (g = 0.64–0.75, P < 0.05), and showed similar effects when compared to antidepressant medication (ADM) (g = −0.29 to 0.02, ns). The combination of CBASP and ADM yielded benefits over antidepressant monotherapy (g = 0.49–0.59, P < 0.05). Limitations The small number of included studies, a certain degree of heterogeneity among the study designs and comparison conditions, and insufficient data evaluating long‐term effects of CBASP restrict generalizability yet. Conclusions We conclude that there is supporting evidence that CBASP is effective in the treatment of chronic depression.