CBT Effective in Adolescents with Depression Who Do Not Want Medication


Am Fam Physician. 2016 Sep 1;94(5):384.

Clinical Question

Is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) effective for adolescents with depression who decline antidepressant drug treatment?

Bottom Line

In adolescents who eschew drug treatment of major depression, short-term CBT is more effective than treatment as usual in inducing recovery, with a number needed to treat of 4 to 10. CBT also produced faster results. (Level of Evidence = 1b)


These researchers identified potential patients by mailing study brochures to parents of adolescents 12 to 18 years of age who had a recent prescription for an antidepressant (from a health maintenance organization in the United States) that went unfilled or was initially dispensed but not refilled. In

POEMs (patient-oriented evidence that matters) are provided by EssentialEvidence Plus, a point-of-care clinical decision support system published by Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please see http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Copyright Wiley-Blackwell. Used with permission.

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A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.


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May 1, 2017

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