Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:J Affect Disord, Volume 145, Issue 3, p.292-9 (2013)
Keywords:Cognitive Therapy, Depression, Humans, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Self Care, Treatment Outcome
BACKGROUND: Depression being a prevalent psychobiological disorder across the world, there is a need to identify effective, evidence-based treatments that are time and cost-effective in an effort to increase the population's accessibility to treatments. Low-intensity interventions, such as guided self-help treatments, hold promise for the dissemination of evidence-based treatments. Behavioural activation, a component of cognitive-behavioural therapy, is receiving increasing attention and empirical support as a stand-alone psychological treatment for depression. This article reviews behavioural activation's theoretical foundations and efficacy in light of determining its potential as a low-intensity intervention.
METHOD: A systematic review of articles on low-intensity behavioural activation interventions for depression was conducted using the PsychInfo, Medline and Embase databases. Behavioural activation's potential for dissemination as a guided self-help treatment is discussed and future avenues of research are stressed.
LIMITATIONS: Studies on the efficacy of behavioural activation as a guided self-help treatment are very limited to date and there are significant variations among existing studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on the research literature, it can be concluded that behavioural activation could be a viable option as a low-intensity guided self-help psychological treatment for mild to moderate depression. Further research is required to better understand the optimal parameters and client-therapist characteristics of this form of low-intensity intervention.