Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Several Factors Predict Response to Treatment in Depressed Teens

Research findings answer many clinical questions on how to tailor interventions to varying adolescent patient characteristics based on individual and family factors.

Teenagers who suffer from antidepressant-resistant depression and have a concurrent history of family conflict, nonsuicidal self injury, or more severe symptoms of depression will likely have a poorer response to a new course of treatment, according to a study published in the March Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The study also found that adding cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to antidepressant medications produces the most benefit for patients who have comorbidities such as anxiety disorders.

The study's findings can help clinicians individualize treatment plans for adolescents with more chronic and complicated forms of depression.

Analyzing the data from the Treatment-Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) study, Joan Asarnow, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the principal investigator of TORDIA at UCLA, and coauthors identified a number of patient characteristics that are associated with the likelihood of response to treatment and the benefit of medication—CBT combination therapy versus medication alone in this hard-to-treat population.


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