This study examines potential predictors of full recovery in emotional disorders —considering symptom plus functional outcomes at one-year follow-up—in a sample derived from a randomized controlled trial aimed to test the efficacy of adding transdiagnostic group cognitive-behavioural therapy (TD-GCBT) to treatment-as-usual (TAU) in primary care.
A total of 387 individuals were examined, 128 (33.1%) achieved a full recovery at one-year follow-up. Baseline data on sociodemographic, treatment, disability, clinical, and cognitive variables were analysed using independent groups comparisons and hierarchical binary logistic regression. The groups were compared in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
Four variables emerged as significant predictors of full recovery at one-year: allocation to the TD-GCBT group, no antidepressant use, higher levels of cognitive reappraisal, and fewer somatic symptoms. Between-group comparison showed that the full-recovery group had notably higher levels of HRQoL at one-year follow-up assessment (Cohen’s d = 0.77).
The addition of TD-GCBT to TAU was the main predictor for full recovery. After controlling for depressive symptoms, individuals who were not taking antidepressants at baseline were twice as likely to achieve full recovery compared to those taking antidepressants. These findings may have implications for the standard treatment approach for emotional disorders in primary care.