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CBT Improves Depressive Symptoms in PD

Int J Geriatr Psych; ePub 2019 Feb 4; Dobkin, et al

Cognitive‐Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may improve a diverse array of depressive symptoms in Parkinson disease (PD), according to a recent study. Furthermore, cognitive and behavioral (vs somatic) symptoms showed the greatest change. Therefore, combining CBT with antidepressants may help optimize the management of somatic complaints in depression with PD (dPD). 80 depressed people with PD participated in a randomized controlled trial of CBT plus clinical management, vs clinical management only. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) subscale scores, reflecting depressive symptom heterogeneity in PD, were the focus of this investigation. Researchers found:

  • CBT response was associated with significant improvements in mood, sleep, anxiety, and somatic symptoms (HAMD), and negative attitudes toward self, performance impairment, and somatic symptoms (BDI).
  • As hypothesized, the largest effect sizes were observed for cognitive and behavioral (vs somatic) symptoms of depression.
  • Stabilized antidepressant use moderated the effect of CBT on somatic complaints (HAMD, BDI).


Dobkin RD, Mann SL, Interian A, Gara MA, Mensa M. Cognitive‐behavioral therapy improves diverse profiles of depressive symptoms in Parkinson's disease. [Published online ahead of print February 4, 2019]. Int J Geriatr Psych. doi:10.1002/gps.5077.