In adults with depression, how effective are group therapies and interventions, compared to individual therapies and interventions, in improving patient outcomes?
Plain language summary
There is limited high quality evidence that adequately compares
the efficacy of different group interventions to individual
interventions, for people with depression. More well-conducted
trials are required to determine the most effective therapy for
improving symptoms of depression.
Clinical and research implications
Evidence from three systematic reviews suggests that there is no
significant difference in effectiveness between group and
individual cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of
adults with depression. It should be noted that evidence was
derived from small randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and that
there was considerable overlap between the studies included in the
three reviews.In addition one large RCT, not included in any of the
systematic reviews, found that an individual problem solving
intervention was more effective than a group educational
intervention for adults with depression; both interventions were
found to significantly reduce depressive symptoms, but no
comparative effect estimate was provided. Research is needed to
provide information on the comparative effectiveness of other types
of group and individual psychological interventions.
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