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Concept: Beck Depression Inventory


This pragmatic randomized controlled trial tested the effectiveness of long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy (LTPP) as an adjunct to treatment-as-usual according to UK national guidelines (TAU), compared to TAU alone, in patients with long-standing major depression who had failed at least two different treatments and were considered to have treatment-resistant depression. Patients (N=129) were recruited from primary care and randomly allocated to the two treatment conditions. They were assessed at 6-monthly intervals during the 18 months of treatment and at 24, 30 and 42 months during follow-up. The primary outcome measure was the 17-item version of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17), with complete remission defined as a HDRS-17 score ≤8, and partial remission defined as a HDRS-17 score ≤12. Secondary outcome measures included self-reported depression as assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory - II, social functioning as evaluated by the Global Assessment of Functioning, subjective wellbeing as rated by the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation - Outcome Measure, and satisfaction with general activities as assessed by the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire. Complete remission was infrequent in both groups at the end of treatment (9.4% in the LTPP group vs. 6.5% in the control group) as well as at 42-month follow-up (14.9% vs. 4.4%). Partial remission was not significantly more likely in the LTPP than in the control group at the end of treatment (32.1% vs. 23.9%, p=0.37), but significant differences emerged during follow-up (24 months: 38.8% vs. 19.2%, p=0.03; 30 months: 34.7% vs. 12.2%, p=0.008; 42 months: 30.0% vs. 4.4%, p=0.001). Both observer-based and self-reported depression scores showed steeper declines in the LTPP group, alongside greater improvements on measures of social adjustment. These data suggest that LTPP can be useful in improving the long-term outcome of treatment-resistant depression. End-of-treatment evaluations or short follow-ups may miss the emergence of delayed therapeutic benefit.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Randomized controlled trial, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Major depressive disorder, Mood disorders, Primary care, Psychoanalysis, Beck Depression Inventory


Sturm J, Plöderl M, Fartacek C, Kralovec K, Neunhäuserer D, Niederseer D, Hitzl W, Niebauer J, Schiepek G, Fartacek R. Physical exercise through mountain hiking in high-risk suicide patients. A randomized crossover trial. Objective:  The following crossover pilot study attempts to prove the effects of endurance training through mountain hiking in high-risk suicide patients. Method:  Participants (n = 20) having attempted suicide at least once and clinically diagnosed with hopelessness were randomly distributed among two groups. Group 1 (n = 10) began with a 9-week hiking phase followed by a 9-week control phase. Group 2 (n = 10) worked vice versa. Assessments included the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Scale of Suicide Ideation (BSI), and maximum physical endurance. Results:  Ten participants of Group 1 and seven participants of Group 2 completed the study. A comparison between conditions showed that, in the hiking phase, there was a significant decrease in hopelessness (P < 0.0001, d = -1.4) and depression (P < 0.0001, d = -1.38), and a significant increase in physical endurance (P < 0.0001, d = 1.0), but no significant effect for suicide ideation (P = 0.25, d = -0.29). However, within the hiking phase, there was a significant decrease in suicide ideation (P = 0.005, d = -0.79). Conclusion:  The results suggest that a group experience of regular monitored mountain hiking, organized as an add-on therapy to usual care, is associated with an improvement of hopelessness, depression, and suicide ideation in patients suffering from high-level suicide risk.

Concepts: Exercise, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Suicide, Parasuicide, Adolf Hitler, Beck Depression Inventory, Endurance


Chronic pain is a complex and often disabling condition compounded by depression and poor self-efficacy. The purpose of this evidence-based project was to explore the relationship of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-focused groups with self-efficacy and depression in persons with chronic pain at an intensive interdisciplinary 3-week pain rehabilitation center (PRC). The project sample consisted of 138 persons admitted to a PRC and scoring ≥27 on the Center for Epidemiological Study Depression Scale (CES-D) and then completing the Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ). After completing the PRC program, including CBT-focused groups, discharge CES-D and PSEQ scores were analyzed. A comparison group of CES-D scores from 134 persons admitted to the PRC from a 9-month time period preceding the addition of the CBT-focused groups was also examined. There was a significant increase in self-efficacy after participation in the intensive pain rehabilitation program including CBT-focused groups. Patient groups both before and after introduction of CBT-focused groups showed the same rate of improvement on the depression scores, suggesting that persons who participated in CBT-focused groups improved equally compared with persons who did not participate in these groups. Ninety-three percent of the participants expressed satisfaction with the CBT groups. This evidence-based practice is well supported in the literature and can be implemented with knowledgeable staff and engaged stakeholders.

Concepts: Psychology, Participation, E-participation, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Behaviorism, World War II, Beck Depression Inventory, Socialism


High levels of stress and depression in medical students is raising concern. In this study, we sought to identify coping strategies and other factors influencing academic stress in medical students. We enrolled 157 students from the University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Korea, in November, 2010. We used the Medical Stress Scale, Temperament and Character Inventory, Hamilton Depression Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, and Coping Response Inventory to assess psychological parameters. We used Pearson’s correlation and linear regression analyses to analyze the data. Novelty-seeking, self-directedness, cooperativeness, coping strategy, and depression scale scores all correlated significantly with stress level. Linear regression analysis indicated that students who are novelty-seeking, likely to use avoidant coping strategies, and unlikely to use active-cognitive and active-behavioral strategies tend to have higher stress levels. Reduction of stress in medical students may be achieved through evaluation of coping strategies and personality features and use of interventions to promote active coping strategies.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, Statistics, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, Correlation and dependence, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Psychiatry, Beck Depression Inventory


Abstract Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate demographic, clinical and psychosocial factors associated with sleep quality in patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Material and methods. Demographic data, clinical and biochemical parameters of 112 CAPD patients (convenience sample of 52 women and 60 men, mean age 51 ± 15 years) were measured. In the same patients, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used for assessing sleep quality, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) for severity of depressive symptoms, the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group criteria for the diagnosis of restless legs syndrome (RLS), and the Short Form-36 (SF-36) of Medical Outcomes Study questionnaire for quality of life (QoL). Results. Patients with PSQI scores of > 5 (“bad sleepers”) had lower serum albumin (p = 0.008), total cholesterol (p = 0.034), normalized protein equivalent of nitrogen appearance (p = 0.046) and residual renal function (p = 0.012), but higher serum ferritin (p = 0.016) and BDI scores (p < 0.001). No significant correlation could be demonstrated between sleep quality and other demographic and clinical parameters. Although the prevalence of RLS was higher in poor sleepers, the difference did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.067). In multivariate analysis, only elevated BDI was an independent predictor of poor sleep quality (p = 0.031). Compared with good sleepers, poor sleepers had significantly lower QoL scores in all subscales of the SF-36. Conclusions.Although poor sleepers had lower nutritional indices, an elevated BDI was the only independent predictor of poor sleep quality. Poor sleep quality was also associated with lower QoL in patients on CAPD.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Nephrology, Dialysis, Peritoneum, Peritoneal dialysis, Restless legs syndrome, Ferritin, Beck Depression Inventory


High prevalence of depression has been reported in patients with end stage kidney disease and depression is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of depression in patients receiving standard hemodialysis (SHD) and hemodiafiltration (HDF) and compare the associated factors between these treatment modalities. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to survey for major depressive symptoms. Demographic and biochemical data were reviewed and collected. Point prevalence of depression in HDF patients was significantly lower than SHD patients (23.9% vs. 43.1%, P < 0.05). The BDI score was also higher in SHD than HDF group (13.2 ± 11.6 vs. 8.7 ± 11.2, P < 0.05). SHD patients with major depressive symptoms had significantly lower levels of hemoglobin, albumin, creatinine, sodium and hand grip strength but had higher prevalence of diabetes and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels. In HDF patients, phosphorus level was significantly lower in patients with major depressive symptoms. Logistic regression analysis revealed that hs-CRP, serum sodium and hand grip strength were significantly associated with major depressive symptoms in patients treated with SHD; while serum phosphorus was identified in HDF groups. We concluded that prevalence of depression was high in dialysis patients. Patients receiving HDF had a lower mean BDI score and a nearly 50% lower prevalence rate of major depressive symptoms than that of SHD. Factors associated with depression were different between two modalities.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Dialysis, Disease, Hemodialysis, Prevalence, Beck Depression Inventory, Grip strength


BACKGROUND: Patients in a palliative care trajectory frequently suffer from depression. To distinguish depression from normal sadness, the use of screening instruments could facilitate the diagnostic process. However, in palliative care, screening instruments may not discern physical symptom burden from psychological distress, due to the high number of physical symptoms in palliative patients. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore physical symptom burden and psychological distress in patients with advanced cancer in relation to scores on screening instruments for depression. METHODS: Patients with advanced cancer were asked to fill out the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Beck Depression Inventory Primary Care (BDI-PC), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale Short Form (MSAS-SF). The relationship between scores on screening tools for depression and different physical symptom clusters was explored. RESULTS: In the sample of 65 patients, screening instruments for depression correlated highly with different somatic symptom clusters. The BDI-II cognitive subscale was the only scale that was not significantly correlated with any of the somatic symptom clusters. CONCLUSION: Screening tools for the detection of depression in patients with advanced cancer may not provide an accurate evaluation of depression. These tools seem to measure physical symptom burden as well, especially when patients suffer from symptoms of the clusters fatigue/anorexia/cachexia, neuropsychology, debility, or pain. In this study, the BDI-II cognitive subscale seems to differentiate best from somatic symptom burden.

Concepts: Psychology, Cancer, Oncology, Symptoms, Palliative care, Symptomatic treatment, Suffering, Beck Depression Inventory


BACKGROUND: Depression in adolescents seems to be a growing problem that causes mental suffering and prevents young people from joining the workforce. There is also a high risk of relapse during adult life. There is emerging evidence for the effect of psychodynamic psychotherapy in adolescents. In-session relational intervention (that is, transference intervention) is a key component of psychodynamic psychotherapy. However, whether depressed adolescents profit most from psychodynamic psychotherapy with or without transference interventions has not been stated. Object The effect of transference interventions in depressed adolescents and the moderator moderating effect of quality of object relations, personality disorder and gender will be explored. Methods and study design The First Experimental Study of Transference Work–In Teenagers (FEST–IT) will be a randomized clinical trial with a dismantling design. The study is aimed to explore the effects of transference work in psychodynamic psychotherapy for adolescents with depression. One hundred patients ages 16 to 18 years old will be randomized to one of two treatment groups, in both of which general psychodynamic techniques will be used. The patients will be treated over 28 weeks with either a moderate level of transference intervention or no transference intervention. Follow-up will be at 1 year after treatment termination. The outcome measures will be the Psychodynamic Functioning Scales (PFS), Inventory of Interpersonal Problems–Circumplex Version (IIP-C), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and the total mean score of Symptom Checklist–90 (Global Severity Index; GSI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Montgomery Asberg Rating Scale (MADRS). The quality of adolescents' relationships will be a central focus of the study, and the Adolescent Relationship Scales (ARS) and Differentiation–Relatedness Scale (DRS) will also be used. Change will be assessed using linear-mixed models. Gender personality disorder (PD) and quality of object relations (QOR) will be the preselected putative moderators. DISCUSSION: The object of this clinical trial is to explore the effect of transference interventions in psychodynamic psychotherapy in adolescents with a major depressive disorder. Using a randomized and dismantling design, we hope that the study will add more specific knowledge to the evidence base. Trial registration Identifier: NCT01531101 First Experimental Study of Transference work Work–In Teenagers (FEST-IT).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Psychoanalysis, Beck Depression Inventory, Psychodynamics


BACKGROUND: There is continuing uncertainty in back pain research as to which treatment is best suited to patients with non-specific chronic low back pain (CLBP). In this study, Gestalt therapy and the shock trauma method Somatic Experiencing® (SE) were used as interventions in parallel with the usual cross-disciplinary approach. The aim was to investigate how these treatments influence a patient’s capacity to cope with CLBP when it is coupled with depression. METHODS: In this qualitative explorative study, a phenomenological–hermeneutic framework was adopted. Patients were recruited on the basis of following criteria: A moderate depression score of 23–30 according to the Beck Depression Inventory Scale and a pain score of 7–10 (Box scale from 0–10) and attendance at five- six psychotherapeutic sessions. Six patients participated in the study. The data was comprised of written field notes from each session, which were subsequently analysed and interpreted at three levels: naive reading, structural analysis and critical interpretation and discussion. RESULTS: Three areas of focus emerged: the significance of previous experiences, restrictions in everyday life and restoration of inner resources during the therapy period. The study revealed a diversity of psychological stressors that related to loss and sorrow, being let down, violations, traumatic events and reduced functioning, which led to displays of distress, powerlessness, reduced self-worth, anxiety and discomfort. Overall, the sum of the stressors together with pain and depression were shown to trigger stress symptoms. Stress was down-played in the psychotherapeutic treatment and inner resources were re-established, which manifested as increased relaxation, presence, self-worth, sense of responsibility and happiness. This, in turn, assisted the patients to better manage their CLBP. CONCLUSIONS: CLBP is a stress factor in itself but when coupled with depression, they can be regarded as two symptom complexes that mutually affect each other in negative ways. When pain, stress and depression become overwhelming and there are few internal resources available, stress seems to become prominent. In this study, Gestalt therapy and the SE-method may have helped to lower the six patients' level of stress and restore their own internal resources, thereby increasing their capacity to cope with their CLBP.

Concepts: Psychology, Low back pain, Symptoms, Acupuncture, Psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy, Psychoanalysis, Beck Depression Inventory


This study examined the impact of three clinical psychological variables (non-pathological levels of depression and anxiety, as well as experimentally manipulated mood) on fat and taste perception in healthy subjects. After a baseline orosensory evaluation, ‘sad’, ‘happy’ and ‘neutral’ video clips were presented to induce corresponding moods in eighty participants. Following mood manipulation, subjects rated five different oral stimuli, appearing sweet, umami, sour, bitter, fatty, which were delivered at five different concentrations each. Depression levels were assessed with Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) and anxiety levels were assessed via the Spielberger’s STAI-trait and state questionnaire. Overall, subjects were able to track the concentrations of the stimuli correctly, yet depression level affected taste ratings. First, depression scores were positively correlated with sucrose ratings. Second, subjects with depression scores above the sample median rated sucrose and quinine as more intense after mood induction (positive, negative and neutral). Third and most important, the group with enhanced depression scores did not rate low and high fat stimuli differently after positive or negative mood induction, whereas, during baseline or during the non-emotional neutral condition they rated the fat intensity as increasing with concentration. Consistent with others' prior observations we also found that sweet and bitter stimuli at baseline were rated as more intense by participants with higher anxiety scores and that after positive and negative mood induction, citric acid was rated as stronger tasting compared to baseline. The observation that subjects with mild subclinical depression rated low and high fat stimuli similarly when in positive or negative mood is novel and likely has potential implications for unhealthy eating patterns. This deficit may foster unconscious eating of fatty foods in sub-clinical mildly depressed populations.

Concepts: Psychology, Nutrition, Glucose, Taste, Seasonal affective disorder, Beck Depression Inventory, Grammatical mood, Sadness