"Patients beginning antidepressant treatment can benefit from phone and outreach-based psychotherapy too, according to a study. Ideally, depression is treated by a combination of antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy. But, often, face-to-face psychotherapy is not available or the patient doesn't show up for it.
A team at Group Health in Seattle USA has been looking at whether patients can benefit from phone therapy - possibly a more convenient way of delivering treatment. They assigned a group to usual care, usual care plus phone therapy (including outreach visits) and usual care with care management and cognitive behavioural therapy delivered by phone.
Those in the phone therapy groups did better than those receiving just usual care. It's true that phone therapy lacks some of the depth of the person-to-person approach. But clearly it can be of great benefit and is more easily accessible to more people in need of therapy. The team, backed by the National Institute of Mental Health, is now looking at how phone therapy compares to conventional psychotherapy."