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Relapse of depression likely to be prevented with metacognitive therapy

A new study has found that metacognitive therapy may be helpful in preventing depression relapse. Metacognitive therapy is a kind of depression treatment.

Depression is a major health issue worldwide. It is a major cause of disability in US in people in the age group of 15-44 years. Nearly 300 million people are suffering from depression and it is important to find a lasting treatment. However relapses are found to be common. The Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) as well as medication works well for short term however for most people the symptoms return after a short while. It was found that only 40% of the people with depression did not have to face relapses after 18 months of ending treatment.  As per the authors, the new treatment has more recovery rate as well as it is less taxing for people.

CBT requires people to deal with their previous worries however in case of metacognitive therapy it asks people not to focus on negative thoughts. Prof. Odin Hjemdal who works at Norwegian University of Science and Technology said that although most people have got negative thoughts most of the people have the ability to move away from them unlike the case of clinically depressed people who stick on to the negative repeating thoughts. He said that what makes depression state to continue is that people stick on to the same thought pattern and ruminate over the same thing again and again.

Metacognitive therapy of 10 sessions was offered to 39 participants having major depression. The participants were then divided in groups of two. The first group was immediately given metacognitive therapy while the second group was started with the treatment after 10 weeks of time. Two participants had dropped out during waiting period. After a year, a follow-up assessment was given to the participants.

It was found that nearly 67 and 73% of the people were classified as recovered after a year of metacognitive therapy. The first percentage accounted for all original participants while the second one accounted for people who had completed the questionnaire. 79% people with severe depression and 60% of people having moderate depression had recovered at the follow-up. 15% saw no change after a year of treatment and only13% of the recovered people relapsed within one year.

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