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Effectiveness of Peer-Supported Computer-Based CBT for Depression Among Veterans in Primary Care.

Pfeiffer PN, Pope B, Houck M, Benn-Burton W, Zivin K, Ganoczy D, Kim HM, Walters H, Emerson L, Nelson CB, Abraham KM, Valenstein M. Effectiveness of Peer-Supported Computer-Based CBT for Depression Among Veterans in Primary Care. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2020 Mar 1; 71(3):256-262.

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OBJECTIVE: This study tested whether computerized cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression supported by a peer specialist with lived experience of depression (PS-cCBT) improves mental health-related outcomes for primary care patients. METHODS: In the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, primary care patients with a new diagnosis of depression (N = 330) were randomly assigned to 3 months of PS-cCBT or a usual-care control condition. Linear mixed-effects models were used to assess differences in depression symptoms, general mental health status, quality of life, and mental health recovery measured at baseline and 3 and 6 months. RESULTS: In adjusted analyses, participants who received PS-cCBT experienced 1.4 points'' (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.3-2.5, p = 0.01) greater improvement in depression symptoms on the Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomatology-Self Report at 3 months, compared with the control group, but no significant difference was noted at 6 months. PS-cCBT recipients also had 2.6 points'' (95% CI = 0.5-4.8, p = 0.02) greater improvement in quality of life at 3 months on the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form and greater improvement in recovery on the Recovery Assessment Scale at 3 months (3.6 points; 95% CI = 0.9-6.2, p = 0.01) and 6 months (4.5 points; 95% CI = 1.2-7.7, p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: PS-cCBT is an effective option for improving short-term depression symptoms and longer-term recovery among primary care patients newly diagnosed as having depression.

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