The Effectiveness of an Intensive Inpatient Psychotherapy Program for Chronic Depression: A naturalistic comparison with wait list

This paper has been published by BMC Psychiatry. The abstract says:


Patients with chronic depression (CD) typically have an early symptom onset, more psychiatric comorbidities, more treatment attempts, and more frequent and longer inpatient hospitalizations than patients with major depressive disorders. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an intensive inpatient psychotherapy program for patients with chronic depression (CD). The primary research question was whether two intensive psychodynamic inpatient treatments, affect phobia therapy (APT) and VITA, were superior to an outpatient wait list condition, receiving treatment as usual (TAU), at completion of treatment. To investigate if a potential difference between the intensive treatment and the wait list control group was dependent on a specific psychotherapeutic model, the study contrasted two therapies with similar intensity, but different theoretical rationales.


Two hundred eighty patients with CD were included in a naturalistic study. Patients were assessed at four time points; assessment, start of therapy, end of therapy and 1-year follow-up. Three comparisons were performed with patients matched across groups; Intensive inpatient treatment program (APT + VITA) vs wait list during treatment, APT vs VITA during treatment and APT vs VITA during follow-up. The outcome measure was the BDI-II.


Intensive inpatient treatment program vs. wait list showed a significant difference in favor of the intensive treatment. No significant differences were found between APT and VITA during therapy or follow-up; but both groups had large effect sizes during treatment, which were maintained during follow-up.


The intensive inpatient psychotherapy program showed superior effect on chronic depression over an outpatient wait list condition receiving treatment as usual (TAU), but no significant differences were found between the two intensive inpatient psychodynamic treatments. The results provide support for the effectiveness of an intensive inpatient psychotherapy program in treatment of chronic and severe disorders, such as CD, which could be of benefit for policymakers and the health care sector as they are allocating recourses efficiently.”

You can read the full paper from here.

Rate this post

Any reply would be very welcome


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

Your email address will not be passed to any other organisation. It will only be used to send you new posts made on this website.