Background: Although patients with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) often have impaired social functioning, few studies have investigated the effectiveness of psychosocial treatment for these patients. We examined whether adding group cognitive behavioral therapy (group-CBT) to medication would improve both the depressive symptoms and the social functioning of patient with mild TRD, and whether any improvements would be maintained over one year.Methods: Forty-three patients with TRD were treated with 12 weekly sessions of group-CBT. Patients were assessed with the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF), the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale (DAS), and the Automatic Thought Questionnaire-Revised (ATQ-R) at baseline, at the termination of treatment, and at the 12-month follow-up.Results: Thirty-eight patients completed treatment; five dropped out. For the patients who completed treatment, post-treatment scores on the GAF and SF-36 were significantly higher than baseline scores. Scores on the HRSD, DAS, and ATQ-R were significantly lower after the treatment. Thus patients improved on all measurements of psychosocial functioning and mood symptoms. Twenty patients participated in the 12-month follow-up. Their improvements for psychosocial functioning, depressive symptoms, and dysfunctional cognitions were sustained at 12 months following the completion of group-CBT.Conclusions: These findings suggest a positive effect that the addition of cognitive behavioural group therapy to medication on depressive symptoms and social functioning of mildly depressed patients, showing treatment resistance.
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