Organized phone-based psychotherapy for depression found cost-effective

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Washington, Oct 6 (ANI): An organised phone-based cognitive behavioural psychotherapy soon after starting on antidepressant medication can help treat depression easily, the effects of which is believed to persist for at least two years after first session, say researchers.

Organized phone therapy for depression has also been found cost-effective with only modest rises.

"The most important reason to treat depression is to reduce suffering and improve daily functioning," said Group Health psychiatrist Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, also a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute (formerly called Group Health Centre for Health Studies).

"But our findings suggest that insurers or health care systems aiming to improve depression treatment in primary care should consider incorporating structured psychotherapy," Gregory added.

The study showed that over two years, phone psychotherapy plus care management led to a gain of 46 depression-free days, with only a 397 dollars increase in outpatient health care costs.

The physicians encouraged the patients to identify and counter their negative thoughts (cognitive behavioural therapy), pursue activities they had enjoyed in the past (behavioural activation), and develop a plan to care for themselves. (ANI)

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