Thin evidence on non-drug strategies for treatment-resistant depression

Research Activities, December 2011, No. 376

A new Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) research review has found there is insufficient evidence to evaluate whether non-pharmacologic treatments are effective for treatment-resistant depression. The Effective Health Care Program review summarizes evidence on the effectiveness and efficacy of four non-pharmacologic treatments: electroconvulsive therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal psychotherapy. Limited evidence suggests that electroconvulsive therapy produced better outcomes than pharmacotherapy. Given that treatment-resistant depression research is in its infancy, the comparison of potential interventions is hampered by the variability of treatment-resistant depression definitions.

These findings and future research needs are summarized in the review, Non-pharmacologic Interventions for Treatment-Resistant Depression in Adults.

You can read and download the full review and other publications from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Web site.

Current as of December 2011
Internet Citation: Thin evidence on non-drug strategies for treatment-resistant depression: Research Activities, December 2011, No. 376. December 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/dec11/1211RA30.html