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Refractory depression – mechanisms and efficacy of radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RefraMED): findings of a randomised trial on benefits and harms

Lynch, Thomas R and Hempel, Roelie J and Whalley, Ben and Byford, Sarah and Chamba, Rampaul and Clarke, Paul and Clarke, Susan and Kingdon, David G and O'Mahen, Heather and Remington, Bob and Rushbrook, Sophie C and Shearer, James and Stanton, Maggie and Swales, Michaela and Watkins, Alan and Russell, Ian T (2019) 'Refractory depression – mechanisms and efficacy of radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RefraMED): findings of a randomised trial on benefits and harms.' The British Journal of Psychiatry. ISSN 0007-1250

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Background Individuals with depression often do not respond to medication or psychotherapy. Radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RO DBT) is a new treatment targeting overcontrolled personality, common in refractory depression. Aims To compare RO DBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) for refractory depression with TAU alone (trial registration: ISRCTN 85784627). Method RO DBT comprised 29 therapy sessions and 27 skills classes over 6 months. Our completed randomised trial evaluated RO DBT for refractory depression over 18 months in three British secondary care centres. Of 250 adult participants, we randomised 162 (65%) to RO DBT. The primary outcome was the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), assessed masked and analysed by treatment allocated. Results After 7 months, immediately following therapy, RO DBT had significantly reduced depressive symptoms by 5.40 points on the HRSD relative to TAU (95% CI 0.94–9.85). After 12 months (primary end-point), the difference of 2.15 points on the HRSD in favour of RO DBT was not significant (95% CI –2.28 to 6.59); nor was that of 1.69 points on the HRSD at 18 months (95% CI –2.84 to 6.22). Throughout RO DBT participants reported significantly better psychological flexibility and emotional coping than controls. However, they reported eight possible serious adverse reactions compared with none in the control group. Conclusions The RO DBT group reported significantly lower HRSD scores than the control group after 7 months, but not thereafter. The imbalance in serious adverse reactions was probably because of the controls' limited opportunities to report these.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2019 11:36
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2019 12:15

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