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23-04-2016 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2017

Cognitive Therapy and Research 3/2017

A Comparative Study on the Efficacy of a Positive Psychology Intervention and a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Clinical Depression

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 3/2017
Covadonga Chaves, Irene Lopez-Gomez, Gonzalo Hervas, Carmelo Vazquez
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Covadonga Chaves and Irene Lopez-Gomez have contributed equally to this work.


Traditionally, treatments for depression have been primarily focused on reducing patients’ symptoms or deficits and less concerned with building positive resources. This study aims to compare the efficacy of a manualized protocol of empirically-validated positive psychology interventions (PPI) with a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) protocol. This controlled clinical trial included 96 adult women with a DSM-IV diagnosis of major depression or dysthymia. Participants were blindly allocated to a 10-session PPI (n = 47) or CBT (n = 49) group therapy condition. Intention to treat analysis showed that both interventions were effective in reducing clinical symptoms and increasing well-being. There were no significant differences between groups in either main outcomes (i.e., severity of depressive symptoms and clinical diagnosis) or secondary outcomes (e.g., positive and negative affect, and satisfaction with life). Even within the most severely depressed participants, no differences between PPI and CBT emerged. If further clinical studies confirm these results, this would widen treatment choice for both patients and professionals.

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