How Does Cognitive Therapy Work? Cognitive Change and Symptom Change in Cognitive Therapy and Pharmacotherapy for Depression

Robert J. DeRubeis, Mark D. Evans, Steven D. Hollon, Michael J. Garvey, William M. Grove, Vicente B. Tuason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of changes in depression-relevant cognition were examined in relation to subsequent change in depressive symptoms for outpatients with major depressive disorder randomly assigned to cognitive therapy (CT; n = 32) versus those assigned to pharmacotherapy only (NoCT; n = 32). Depression severity scores were obtained at the beginning, middle, and end of the 12-week treatment period, as were scores on 4 measures of cognition: Attributional Styles Questionnaire (ASQ), Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ), Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale (DAS), and the Hopelessness Scale (HS). Change from pretreatment to midtreatment on the ASQ, DAS, and HS predicted change in depression from midtreatment to posttreatment in the CT group, but not in the NoCT group. It is concluded that cognitive phenomena play mediational roles in cognitive therapy. However, data do not support their status as sufficient mediators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-869
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1990

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