Assessing Symptoms After 4 Weeks of Psychotherapy Helpful in Teens

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Assessing Symptoms After 4 Weeks of Psychotherapy Helpful in Teens
Assessing Symptoms After 4 Weeks of Psychotherapy Helpful in Teens

FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Therapists implementing interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed adolescents (IPT-A) should routinely monitor depression symptoms and consider augmenting treatment for insufficient responders as early as week 4 of treatment, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Meredith Gunlicks-Stoessel, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues compared two time points (week 4 and week 8) for assessing symptoms during IPT-A for 40 adolescents. Further, the authors explored four algorithms that used the symptom assessments to select the subsequent treatment.

The researchers found that the week-four decision point for assessing response and implementing treatment augmentation for insufficient responders was more efficacious for reducing depression symptoms than the week 8 decision point. Augmenting IPT-A at four weeks, either by increasing the frequency of sessions to twice per week or adding fluoxetine to therapy, seemed efficacious.

"These results provide initial guidance for therapists in delivering personalized care that is adapted over time to meet the needs of each individual patient," the authors write.

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