Key clinical point: Participation in augmented depression Therapy (ADepT) leads to reductions in depression scores and improves well-being in clinically depressed adults.
Major finding: A total of 7 of 11 participants showed reliable and clinically significant improvements in scores on well-being and depression after at least 15 weekly ADepT sessions held in person with a trained therapist.
Study details: The data come from a case series of 11 adults with clinical depression.
Disclosures: The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose. The study was supported in part by the National Institute for Health Research.
Dunn BD et al. Behav Res Ther. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2019.103418.
In major depressive disorder (MDD), there is a focus on treating negative affect that is a hallmark of the condition. However, other key symptoms are often neglected, such as loss of interest, enjoyment, and motivational drive. Dunn et al. addressed this in a simple case series using a psychotherapy called ADepT, which aims to improve the MDD patient’s use of reward and to avoid motivational dampening processes. MDD patients often cannot see the possibility of an improved future, or have difficulty experimenting with psychotherapy techniques or skills outside of their sessions, to effect symptom improvement. The ADepT approach seems to bridge this gap in this initial case series, and the approach may have the ability to lower negative affect and increase positive reward and motivational drive.—Thomas L. Schwartz, MD; Senior Associate Dean of Education, Interim Chair/Professor of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University.