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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 130  |  Issue : 23  |  Page : 2844-2851

Effect of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Versus Interpersonal Psychotherapy in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1 Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515; Department of Psychology, Institute of Education, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, Henan 453007, China
2 Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China

Correspondence Address:
Xiao-Yuan Zhang
Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0366-6999.219149

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Background: Practice guidelines have recommended cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) as the treatment of choice for major depression disorder (MDD). However, whether one therapy is better than the other remains inconclusive. The aim of this study was to compare the treatment efficacy of the two treatment approaches for MDD. Methods: Using the terms “cognitive behavior therapy or cognitive therapy or CBT or CT or cognitive behavioral therapy” and “interpersonal psychotherapy or IPT,” we systematically searched PubMed, Psyclnfo and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure databases up to February 2017. The language was restricted to be English and Chinese. Therapeutic outcomes, characteristics, and research quality were then extracted and analyzed independently. In accessing the included studies, we followed the criteria suggested by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Results: Data for 946 patients from 10 randomized controlled trials were included in the study. Methodological quality was not optimal in most trials. Meta-analysis showed a mean difference (MD) of −1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) (−2.49, −0.12) (P < 0.05) in favor of CBT according to the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and however, we did not found any statistically significant difference between CBT and IPT on the Hamilton Rating Scale for depression (HRSD) (MD −0.90, 95% CI [−2.18, 0.38]). Subgroup analyses for the studies in which patients were treated only by psychotherapy (MD −1.26, 95% CI [−2.78, 0.35]) and for those which offered more sessions of therapies (MD −0.82, 95% CI [−2.23, 0.59]) showed there was no significant difference between CBT and IPT according to BDI. Conclusions: Differences in treatment efficacy seem to vary according to different outcome measures. CBT shows an advantage over IPT for MDD according to BDI, and there is no significant difference between the two according to HRSD. These results should be interpreted with caution.

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