Question: In adults with depression, which group intervention is most effective in improving patient outcomes?


Plain language summary

There is limited evidence that adequately compares the effectiveness of different group interventions for the treatment of depression. More high quality research is required to determine the most effective group therapy in relieving symptoms of depression.

Clinical and research implications

There is insufficient evidence to draw any reliable comparisons between the effectiveness of different group psychological interventions for depression. Weak evidence, from a meta-analysis of 14 studies and one additional randomised controlled trial (RCT), suggests that group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may be effective in reducing depressive symptoms in clinically depressed adults. Results from the additional RCT also suggest that mutual support groups may be as effective as CBT. Research is needed to determine which group interventions may be effective in adults with depression and to determine their relative efficacy.

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