This study examined the relation of process variables to the outcome of group drug counseling, a commonly used community treatment, for cocaine dependence.
Videotaped group drug counseling sessions from 440 adult patients (23% female, 41% minority) were rated for member alliance, group cohesion, participation, self-disclosure, positive and non-positive feedback and advice, during the 6-month treatment of cocaine dependence. Average, session-level, and slopes of process scores were evaluated. Primary outcomes were monthly cocaine use (days using out of 30), next session cocaine use, and duration of sustained abstinence from cocaine. Secondary outcomes were endorsement of 12-step philosophy and beliefs about substance abuse.
More positive alliances (with counselor) were associated with reductions in days using cocaine per month and next-session cocaine use, and increases in endorsement of 12-step philosophy. Patient self-disclosure about the past and degree of participation in the group were generally not predictive of group drug counseling outcomes. More advice from counselor and other group members were consistently associated with poorer outcomes in all categories. Individual differences in changes in process variables over time (linear slopes) were generally not predictive of treatment outcomes.
Some group behaviors widely believed to be associated with outcome, such as self-disclosure and participation, were not generally predictive of outcomes of group drug counseling, but alliance with the group counselor was positively associated, and advice giving negatively associated, with the outcome of treatments for cocaine dependence.
group drug counseling; cocaine dependence; predictors; process ratings
The objective of the current study was to examine predictors and moderators of response to two HIV sexual risk interventions of different content and duration for individuals in substance abuse treatment programs.
Participants were recruited from community drug treatment programs participating in the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN). Data were pooled from two parallel randomized controlled CTN studies (one with men and one with women) each examining the impact of a multi-session motivational and skills training program, in comparison to a single-session HIV education intervention, on the degree of reduction in unprotected sex from baseline to 3- and 6- month follow-ups. The findings were analyzed using a zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) model.
Severity of drug use (p < .01), gender (p < .001), and age (p < .001) were significant main effect predictors of number of unprotected sexual occasions (USOs) at follow-up in the non-zero portion of the ZINB model (men, younger participants, and those with greater severity of drug/alcohol abuse have more USOs). Monogamous relationship status (p < .001) and race/ethnicity (p < .001) were significant predictors of having at least one USO vs. none (monogamous individuals and African Americans were more likely to have at least one USO). Significant moderators of intervention effectiveness included recent sex under the influence of drugs/alcohol (p < .01 in non-zero portion of model), duration of abuse of primary drug (p < .05 in non-zero portion of model), and Hispanic ethnicity (p < .01 in the zero portion, p < .05 in the non-zero portion of model).
These predictor and moderator findings point to ways in which patients may be selected for the different HIV sexual risk reduction interventions and suggest potential avenues for further development of the interventions for increasing their effectiveness within certain subgroups.
HIV prevention intervention; Skills building; Randomized controlled trial; Predictors; Moderators
College counseling centers (CCCs) are increasingly being called upon to treat highly distressed students with complex clinical presentations. This study compared the effectiveness of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for suicidal college students to an optimized control condition, and analyzed baseline global functioning as a moderator.
The intent-to-treat (ITT) sample included 63 college students between the ages of 18 and 25 who were suicidal at baseline, reported at least one lifetime non-suicidal self-injurious (NSSI) act or suicide attempt, and met three or more borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnostic criteria. Participants were randomly assigned to DBT (n = 31) or an optimized Treatment as Usual (O-TAU) control condition (n = 32). Treatment was provided by trainees, supervised by experts in both treatments. Both treatments lasted 7–12 months and included both individual and group components. Assessments were conducted at pretreatment, 3-months, 6-months, 9-months, 12-months, and 18-months (follow-up).
Mixed effects analyses (ITT sample) revealed that DBT, compared to the control condition, showed significantly greater decreases in suicidality, depression, number of NSSI events (if participant had self-injured), BPD criteria, and psychotropic medication use, and significantly greater improvements in social adjustment. Most of these treatment effects were observed at follow-up. No treatment differences were found for treatment dropout. Moderation analyses showed that DBT was particularly effective for suicidal students who were lower functioning at pretreatment.
DBT is an effective treatment for suicidal, multi-problem college students. Future research should examine the implementation of DBT in CCCs in a stepped care approach.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common source of morbidity after trauma. We sought to determine novel risk factors for AKI, by Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) criteria, in critically ill trauma patients.
Materials and Methods
Prospective cohort study of 400 patients admitted to the ICU of a level one trauma center, followed for development of AKI over five days.
AKI developed in 147/400 (36.8%) patients. In multivariable regression analysis, independent risk factors for AKI included African American race (OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.08,3.18; p=0.024), body mass index ≥30 (OR 4.72 versus normal BMI, 95% CI 2.59, 8.61, p<0.001), diabetes mellitus (OR 3.26; 95% CI 1.30,8.20; p=0.012), abdominal Abbreviated Injury Scale score ≥4 (OR 3.78; 95% CI 1.79,7.96; p<0.001), and unmatched packed red blood cells administered during resuscitation (OR 1.13 per unit; 95% CI 1.04,1.23; p=0.004). AKIN stages 1, 2, and 3 were associated with hospital mortality rates of 9.8%, 13.7%, and 30.4%, respectively, compared with 3.8% for those without AKI (p<0.001).
AKI in critically ill trauma patients is associated with substantial mortality. The findings of African American race, obesity, and blood product administration as independent risk factors for AKI deserve further study to elucidate underlying mechanisms.
acute kidney injury; trauma; critical illness; race; obesity; transfusion; epidemiology; risk factors
Packed Red Blood Cell (PRBC) transfusion is associated with Acute Lung Injury (ALI) development after trauma, but this risk may not be constant through time after trauma. We hypothesized the relationship between PRBC delivery and ALI risk varies through time after injury.
Data were collected prospectively from 1999–2006. Inclusion criteria: age > 13 years, SICU admission, and injury severity score (ISS) ≥ 16. Exclusion criteria included discharge/death within 24 hours of admission. Patients were followed prospectively for ALI development for 5 days after trauma. Discrete time models were fit to test the association of timing of PRBC delivery with development of ALI while controlling for patient demographics, resuscitation variables, ISS, and APACHE III scores.
At total of 602 patients were included. Median age was 33 years, 77% were male, and 50% were African American. Using a discrete time-survival model, the relation between transfusion and ALI development was found to vary by transfusion time-window (p<0.0001). The major effect of PRBC delivery on ALI risk occurred in the first 24 hours after trauma; this finding persisted in multivariable modeling (adjusted OR = 1.07 per unit; 95%CI 1.02–1.11, p<0.001). Cumulative incidence of ALI approached 50% in patients receiving ≥ 6u PRBC in the first 24 hours.
The association between PRBC transfusion and ALI development in trauma patients is time-dependent, with PRBC delivery in the first 24 hours after injury driving the overall relation. Each PRBC unit during this time period increases odds of subsequent ALI development by 7%.
Given the frequent comorbidity of anxiety and depression, it is important to study the effects of depression interventions on anxiety and the impact of comorbid anxiety on depression outcomes.
This paper reports on pooled anxiety and depression data from two randomized trials of Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST), a depression prevention program. Ninety-eight adolescents were randomized to receive IPT-AST or school counseling (SC). Outcome and predictor analyses were performed utilizing hierarchical linear models.
IPT-AST adolescents had significantly greater reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms than SC adolescents during the intervention. Baseline anxiety symptoms predicted change in depressive symptoms for adolescents in both intervention conditions, with adolescents low in baseline anxiety demonstrating more rapid change in depressive symptoms than adolescents high in baseline anxiety.
These findings indicate that IPT-AST is effective at decreasing both depressive and anxiety symptoms. For adolescents with comorbid symptoms of anxiety, there may be slower rates of change in depressive symptoms following prevention programs.
prevention; depression; anxiety; adolescents; interpersonal psychotherapy
Therapist treatment adherence has received a great deal of attention in recent years, in part because of its relation to treatment outcomes. Although certain therapist behaviors have been found to be associated with treatment outcomes, little is known about client factors impacting on therapists’ ability to adhere to treatment protocols. In this study, we evaluated effects of parental beliefs, psychopathology, and interaction styles on therapists’ adherence to Multi-systemic Therapy (MST) principles. Eighty-two parents participating in a clinical trial of MST completed baseline measures assessing psychopathology, family functioning, and treatment expectations. Analyses indicated that parental perceptions of therapist adherence were established within the first 4 weeks of treatment, and that parental psychopathology, motivation, expectations, and child rearing practices were related to parental ratings of therapist adherence. Results were essentially unchanged when controlling for parental positive response style. Clinical and research implications of the findings are discussed.
therapist adherence; multi-systemic therapy; disruptive behavior; parent
To estimate the prevalence and stability of social, emotional, and academic competence in a nationally representative sample of children involved with child protective services.
Children were assessed as part of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Children (N = 2,065) ranged in age from 8 to 16 years and were assessed at baseline and at 18 and 36 months postbaseline. Caregivers, teachers, and youths provided information about children's problem behaviors, school achievement, and social competence. Children were considered resilient in a domain if they met or exceeded national norms.
Thirty-seven percent to 49% of children demonstrated resilience in mental health, academic, or social domains at any time point. Eleven percent to 14% of children were resilient across domains at any time point, and only 14% to 22% of children were consistently resilient within a given domain across all three time points.
Resilience, as defined by competence in mental health, academic, and social domains, was demonstrated by relatively few children. The conditions that promote stable resilience may be difficult to achieve among allegedly maltreated children who are likely to face residential and caretaker instability. Future research should identify processes that promote stability in resilience over time.
child abuse; maltreatment; resilience; National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being
Although many studies suggest that family violence is associated with child psychopathology, multiple features of the home environment might account for this association, such as poverty and caregiver psychopathology. Studies are needed examining how change in psychopathology symptoms is affected by home violence, controlling for children's own developmental symptom histories and other predictors of psychopathology. This study used latent difference score structural equation modeling to test if witnessing home violence and/or experiencing harsh physical discipline predicted changes in psychopathology symptoms among 2,925 youth aged 5 – 16 years previously exposed to violence. Results demonstrated that harsh physical discipline predicted child-specific changes in externalizing symptoms, whereas witnessing violence predicted child-specific changes in internalizing symptoms across time. Implications for research and policy are discussed.
The study utilized a generalizability theory analysis of adherence and competence ratings to evaluate the number of sessions and patients needed to yield dependable scores at the patient and therapist levels. Independent judges’ ratings of supportive expressive therapy (n = 94), cognitive therapy (n = 103), and individual drug counseling (n = 98) were obtained on tapes of sessions from the NIDA Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study. Generalizability coefficients revealed that, for all three treatments, ratings made on approximately five to 10 sessions per patient are needed to achieve sufficient dependability at the patient level. At the therapist level, four to 14 patients need to be evaluated (depending on the modality), to yield dependable scores. Many studies today use fewer numbers.
statistical methodology; generalizability theory; adherence; competence
The aim of this Stage I Behavioral Development Trial was to develop a manual-based 12-session Women’s Recovery Group (WRG) and to pilot test this new treatment in a randomized controlled trial against a mixed-gender Group Drug Counseling (GDC), an effective manual-based treatment for substance use disorders. After initial manual development, two pre-pilot groups of WRG were conducted to determine feasibility and initial acceptability of the treatment among subjects and therapists. In the pilot stage, women were randomized to either WRG or GDC. No significant differences in substance use outcomes were found between WRG and GDC during the 12-week group treatment. However, during the 6-month post-treatment follow-up, WRG members demonstrated a pattern of continued reductions in substance use while GDC women did not. In addition, pilot WRG women with alcohol dependence had significantly greater reductions in average drinks/drinking day than GDC women 6 months post-treatment (p < .03, effect size = 0.81). While satisfaction with both groups was high, women were significantly more satisfied with WRG than GDC (p < .009, effect size = 1.11). In this study, the newly developed 12-session women-focused WRG was feasible with high satisfaction among participants. It was equally effective as mixed-gender GDC in reducing substance use during the 12-week in-treatment phase, but demonstrated significantly greater improvement in reductions in drug and alcohol use over the post-treatment follow-up phase compared with GDC. A women-focused single-gender group treatment may enhance longer-term clinical outcomes among women with substance use disorders.
Gender differences; Women; Substance use disorders; Alcohol use disorders; Treatment outcomes; Group therapy
The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of feedback provided to counselors on the outcomes of patients treated at community-based substance abuse treatment programs. A version of the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45), adapted to include drug and alcohol use, was administered to patients (N=304) in three substance abuse treatment clinics. Phase I of the study consisted only of administration of the assessment instruments. Phase II consisted of providing feedback reports to counselors based on the adapted OQ-45 at every treatment session up to session 12. Patients who were found to not be progressing at an expectable rate (i.e., “off-track”) were administered a questionnaire that was used as a second feedback report for counselors. For off-track patients, feedback compared to no feedback led to significant linear reductions in alcohol use throughout treatment and also in OQ-45 total scores and drug use from the point of the second feedback instrument to session 12. The effect for improving mental health functioning was evident at only one of the three clinics. These results suggest that a feedback system adapted to the treatment of substance use problems is a promising approach that should be tested in a larger randomized trial.
Substance abuse; feedback; Outcome Questionnaire-45; quality improvement
This paper reports on school and social functioning outcomes in a randomized depression prevention study that compared Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) with usual school counseling (SC). Outcome analyses were performed utilizing hierarchical linear models and mixed model analysis of variance. IPT-AST adolescents had significantly greater improvements than SC adolescents in total social functioning and friend functioning during the intervention. IPT-AST adolescents also demonstrated improvements in school, dating, and family functioning and emotional engagement in school, although these improvements were not significantly greater than seen in SC adolescents. Finally, in the 18 months following the intervention, IPT-AST adolescents were less likely than SC adolescents to be asked to leave school for academic or behavioral reasons. These findings extend the potential range of impact of depression prevention programs such as IPT-AST and provide preliminary evidence of the benefits of these programs on school and social functioning.
Prevention; Depression; Adolescents; School mental health
The current study assessed efficacy of combined cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and venlafaxine XR compared to venlafaxine XR alone in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) within settings where medication is typically offered as the treatment for this disorder. Patients with DSM-IV–diagnosed GAD who were recently enrolled in a long-term venlafaxine XR study were randomly offered (n=77), or not offered (n=40), the option of adding 12 sessions of CBT. Of those offered CBT, 33% (n=26) accepted and attended at least one treatment session. There were no differences between the combined treatment group and the medication only group on primary or secondary efficacy measures in any of the sample comparisons. Many patients who present in medical/psychopharmacology settings seeking treatment for GAD decline the opportunity to receive adjunctive treatment. Of those that receive CBT, there appears to be no additional benefit of combined treatment compared to venlafaxine XR alone.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy; venlafaxine; combined treatment
We explored patient, therapist, and program variability in the alliance in relation to drug and alcohol use during treatment, and whether alliance mediates the relation of program characteristics to drug/alcohol use. Data (N=1613 patients) were drawn from a randomized clinical trial investigating the efficacy of an intervention that provided alliance and outcome feedback to 112 counselors across 20 community-based outpatient substance abuse treatment clinics in the northeast United States. Program characteristics were measured using the Organization Readiness for Change scale. Using multilevel modeling, we found that alliance was related to both drug and alcohol use during the past week at the patient and program levels of analysis, but not the counselor level. Several program characteristics were related to average drug and alcohol use. The alliance was not a mediator of these relationships. Program variability in the alliance is important to the alliance-outcome relationship in the treatment of substance abuse. Better outcomes can be achieved by improving both organizational functioning and the patient-counselor alliance.
Substance Abuse; Alliance; Program; Counselor
To examine the dependability of alliance scores at the patient and therapist level, to evaluate the potential causal direction of session-to-session changes in alliance and depressive symptoms, and to investigate the impact of aggregating the alliance over progressively more sessions on the size of the alliance-outcome relationship.
We used data from a study (N=45 patients; N=9 therapists) of psychotherapy for major depressive disorder in which the alliance was measured at every treatment session to calculate generalizability coefficients and to predict change in depressive symptoms from alliance scores. Two replication samples were also used.
At the therapist level, a large number of patients (about 60) per therapist is needed to provide a dependable therapist-level alliance score. At the patient level, generalizability coefficients revealed that a single assessment of the alliance is only marginally acceptable. Very good (> .90) dependability at the patient level is only achieved through aggregating four or more assessments of the alliance. Session-to-session change in the alliance predicted subsequent session-to-session changes in symptoms. Evidence for reverse causation was found in later-in-treatment sessions, suggesting that only aggregates of early treatment alliance scores should be used to predict outcome. Session 3 alliance scores explained 4.7% of outcome variance but the average of sessions 3 to 9 explaining 14.7% of outcome variance.
Adequately assessing the alliance using multiple patients per therapist and at least 4 treatment sessions is crucial to fully understanding the size of the alliance-outcome relationship.
alliance; outcome; generalizability theory; therapist
Videotaped group drug counseling sessions were rated for alliance, self-disclosure, positive and negative feedback, group cohesion, and degree of participation of each group member. Interrater reliability was good to excellent for most measures. However, generalizability coefficients based on statistical models that included terms for patient, counselor, session, group, and rater revealed that some measures had inadequate dependability at the patient level if only two raters and two sessions were used to create patient-level scores. In contrast, good generalizability coefficients based on two raters and two sessions were obtained for alliance, non-positive learning statements received from counselor, participation variables, and self-disclosures about the past. The implications of the findings for the design of process-outcome studies are discussed.
group psychotherapy; process research; alliance; substance abuse
Rationale: Acute lung injury (ALI) acts as a complex genetic trait, yet its genetic risk factors remain incompletely understood. Large-scale genotyping has not previously been reported for ALI.
Objectives: To identify ALI risk variants after major trauma using a large-scale candidate gene approach.
Methods: We performed a two-stage genetic association study. We derived findings in an African American cohort (n = 222) using a cardiopulmonary disease–centric 50K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. Genotype and haplotype distributions were compared between subjects with ALI and without ALI, with adjustment for clinical factors. Top performing SNPs (P < 10−4) were tested in a multicenter European American trauma-associated ALI case-control population (n = 600 ALI; n = 2,266 population-based control subjects) for replication. The ALI-associated genomic region was sequenced, analyzed for in silico prediction of function, and plasma was assayed by ELISA and immunoblot.
Measurements and Main Results: Five SNPs demonstrated a significant association with ALI after adjustment for covariates in Stage I. Two SNPs in ANGPT2 (rs1868554 and rs2442598) replicated their significant association with ALI in Stage II. rs1868554 was robust to multiple comparison correction: odds ratio 1.22 (1.06–1.40), P = 0.0047. Resequencing identified predicted novel splice sites in linkage disequilibrium with rs1868554, and immunoblots showed higher proportion of variant angiopoietin-2 (ANG2) isoform associated with rs1868554T (0.81 vs. 0.48; P = 0.038).
Conclusions: An ANGPT2 region is associated with both ALI and variation in plasma angiopoietin-2 isoforms. Characterization of the variant isoform and its genetic regulation may yield important insights about ALI pathogenesis and susceptibility.
acute lung injury; acute respiratory distress syndrome; functional genetic polymorphism; genetic association study
The goal of this investigation was to explore changes in psychotherapy utilization for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated in community mental health agencies across two cohorts. We used a Medicaid claims database including approximately 300,000 public sector clients. Although the use of psychotherapy alone showed a small decrease, there was a large increase in the use of combined medication and psychotherapy as a treatment for MDD. Race was a significant predictor of both treatment type received and length of treatment. African American consumers were more likely to receive psychotherapy alone than combined treatment and attended significantly fewer psychotherapy sessions.
Depression; Psychotherapy; Racial disparities; Community mental health system
The association between cocaine use and depression has been frequently observed. However, less is known about the significance of depression in the treatment of cocaine use disorders. This study examined possible interrelations between drug use and depression severity among cocaine-dependent patients in psychosocial treatments for cocaine dependence.
Monthly assessed drug use and depression severity scores of N = 487 patients during 6-month psychosocial treatments for cocaine dependence were analyzed using hybrid latent growth models.
Results indicated a moderate but statistically significant (z = 3.13, p < .01) influence of depression severity on increased drug use in the upcoming month, whereas drug use did not affect future depression severity.
Findings suggest that depression symptoms are an important predictor of drug use outcomes during psychosocial treatments for cocaine dependence and, hence, underline the importance of adequately addressing depression symptoms to improve treatment outcomes.
Cocaine Dependence; Depression; Psychosocial Treatment; Interrelations; Hybrid Latent Growth Models
The study evaluated the efficacy of an indicated prevention program for adolescent depression.
Fifty-seven adolescents with elevated depression symptoms were randomized to receive Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) or school counseling (SC). Hierarchical linear modeling examined differences in rates of change in depression symptoms and overall functioning and analysis of covariance examined mean differences between groups. Rates of depression diagnoses in the 18-month follow-up period were compared.
Adolescents in IPT-AST reported significantly greater rates of change in depression symptoms and overall functioning than SC adolescents from baseline to post-intervention. At post-intervention, IPT-AST adolescents reported significantly fewer depression symptoms and better overall functioning. During the follow-up phase, rates of change slowed for the IPT-AST adolescents, whereas the SC adolescents continued to show improvements. By 12-month follow-up, there were no significant mean differences in depression symptoms or overall functioning between the two groups. IPT-AST adolescents reported significantly fewer depression diagnoses in the first 6 months following the intervention but by 12-month follow-up the difference in rates of diagnoses was no longer significant.
IPT-AST leads to an immediate reduction in depression symptoms and improvement in overall functioning. However, the benefits of IPT-AST are not consistent beyond the 6-month follow-up, suggesting that the preventive effects of the program in its current format are limited. Future studies are needed to examine whether booster sessions lengthen the long-term effects of IPT-AST.
prevention; adolescents; depression
In this secondary data analytic study we examined whether the relationship between changes in coping and treatment outcome differed between women enrolled in either the Women's Recovery Group (N=29), a new manualized group treatment for women with substance use disorders, or Group Drug Counseling (N=7), an empirically supported mixed-gender group treatment. We examined subscales of the Ways of Coping questionnaire and found that while changes in coping did not differ significantly across treatment groups, the association of changes in coping with substance abuse outcome was related to treatment condition. Increases in problem focused coping were associated with decreased drinking days in WRG, but paradoxically with increased drinking days in GDC. For both groups, increases in wishful thinking were associated with increases in substance use, and increases in social support coping associated with decreases in use, but these associations were greater GDC. Our results highlight the importance of examining the impact of treatment modality on coping, as well as contextual factors that may help to explain the specific pattern of results.
coping behavior; human females; alcohol rehabilitation; drug rehabilitation; group psychotherapy; treatment outcomes
Recent clinical trials and case-reports indicate that baclofen, a GABAB agonist, may have efficacy for alcohol dependence. Baclofen has been shown to enhance abstinence, to reduce drinking quantity, to reduce craving, and to reduce anxiety in alcohol dependent individuals in two placebo-controlled trials in Italy. However, the clinical trial data with baclofen is limited. The purpose of the present study was to test the efficacy and tolerability of baclofen in alcohol dependence in the United States.
The study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study comparing 30 mg per day of baclofen to placebo over 12 weeks of treatment and utilizing eight sessions of BRENDA, a low-intensity psychosocial intervention. 121 subjects were screened to yield 80 randomized subjects (44 male) with randomization balanced for gender. Percent heavy drinking days was the primary outcome measure with other drinking outcomes, anxiety levels, and craving as secondary outcomes. Tolerability was examined.
76% of subjects completed the study. No difference by drug condition was seen in % heavy drinking days where on-average rates were 25.5% (± 23.6%) for placebo and 25.9% (± 23.2%) for baclofen during treatment (t(73)=0.59, p=0.56). Similarly, no differences were seen by drug condition in % days abstinent, time to first drink, or time to relapse to heavy drinking. Baclofen was associated with a significant reduction in state anxiety (F(1,73)=5.39, p=0.02). Baclofen was well tolerated with only two individuals stopping baclofen because of adverse events. There were no serious adverse events.
Baclofen, a GABAB agonist, represents a possible new pharmacotherapeutic approach to alcohol dependence. Despite encouraging preclinical data and prior positive clinical trials with baclofen in Italy, the current trial did not find evidence that baclofen is superior to placebo in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Additional clinical trial work is necessary to establish whether baclofen does or does not have therapeutic efficacy in alcohol dependence and, if it does, what factors are predictive of response.
baclofen; alcoholism; placebo-controlled trial
The Sweet Taste Test (STT) measures hedonic responses to sweet tastes and has been linked to both alcoholism and to a family history of alcoholism. However, STT response profiles in unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD), a disorder characterized by anhedonia, have been minimally investigated.
Twelve adults with and 15 adults without MDD participated in two identical STT assessments separated by approximately 12 weeks. Between assessments, MDD outpatients received Behavioral Activation Therapy for Depression, a psychotherapy modality designed to increase engagement with rewarding stimuli and reduce avoidance behaviors. Primary dependent measures included sensitivity to sucrose, hedonic response to sucrose, and designation as a Sweet Liker or Sweet Disliker.
75% of adults with MDD were treatment responders. There were no significant differences in STT response profiles between groups overall or at either timepoint. Furthermore, STT profiles of MDD participants did not differ after psychotherapy, relative to baseline.
Findings suggest that although anhedonia is a symptom of MDD, the disorder is not characterized by altered responses to sweet tastes. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Unipolar Depression; Anhedonia; Sweet Taste Test; Treatment
The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the interpersonal accuracy of interventions in cognitive and interpersonal therapy as a predictor of the outcome of treatment for patients with major depressive disorder.
The interpersonal accuracy of interventions was rated using transcripts of treatment sessions for 72 patients who were being treated with cognitive or interpersonal therapy for major depressive disorder through the NIMH Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program. Interpersonal accuracy of interventions was assessed by first identifying core conflictual relationship themes for each patient and then having judges rate therapist intervention statements for the extent to which each statement addressed each component of the patient-specific interpersonal theme.
Using early in treatment sessions, statistically significant interactions of interpersonal accuracy of interventions and treatment group in relation to outcome were evident. These findings included significant accuracy by treatment group interactions in the prediction of subsequent change of depressive symptoms and social adjustment from Week 4 to Week 16, with higher levels of interpersonal accuracy associated with relatively poorer outcomes for patients receiving cognitive therapy but relatively better outcomes for patients in interpersonal therapy.
The process of interpersonal and cognitive therapies may differ in important ways. Accurately addressing interpersonal themes may be particularly important to the process of interpersonal therapy, but not cognitive therapy.
interpersonal therapy; cognitive therapy; depression; therapeutic process; outcome