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The use of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of resistant depression in adolescents

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Abstract:

Sarah Hamill-Skoch,1 Paul Hicks,2 Ximena Prieto-Hicks11Department of Psychiatry, 2Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ, USAAbstract: Major depressive disorder often begins in adolescence, is chronic and recurrent, and heightens an individual's risk for major depressive disorder in adulthood. Treatment-resistant depression is a problem for a significant minority of adolescents. Few studies have examined treatments for treatment-resistant depression among adolescents, and even fewer have examined the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy as a monotherapy or in combination with pharmacological treatments. Mental health professionals have a strong interest in understanding what treatments are appropriate for adolescents who are treatment resistant. Preliminary evidence from current published trials indicates that the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy in combination with antidepressant medication yields the best outcome for treatment-resistant depression in adolescents. Secondary analyses also suggest that the utility of cognitive behavioral therapy can be increased by ensuring adolescents receive a therapeutic dose of treatment sessions (more than nine sessions) and the inclusion of two treatment components: social skills and problem solving training. Guidelines for clinicians as well as areas for future research are discussed.Keywords: cognitive behavior therapy, treatment-resistant depression, adolescent depression

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