A brief behavioral activation treatment for depression: A randomized pilot trial within an inpatient psychiatric hospital

Derek R. Hopko, C. W. Lejuez, James P. LePage, Sandra D. Hopko, Daniel W. McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

135 Scopus citations


The brief behavioral activation treatment for depression (BATD) is a relatively uncomplicated, time-efficient, and cost-effective method for treating depression. Because of these features, BATD may represent a practical intervention within managed care-driven, inpatient psychiatric hospitals. Based on basic behavioral theory and empirical evidence supporting activation strategies, we designed a treatment to increase systematically exposure to positive activities and thereby help to alleviate depressive affect. This study represents a pilot study that extends research on this treatment into the context of an inpatient psychiatric unit. Results demonstrate effectiveness and superiority of BATD as compared with the standard supportive treatment provided within the hospital. A large effect size was demonstrated, despite a limited sample size. The authors discuss the limitations of the study and future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-469
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Modification
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003



  • Behavioral treatment
  • Depression
  • Inpatient care
  • Randomized trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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