Patients’ comprehension and skill usage as a putative mediator of change or an engaged target in cognitive therapy: Preliminary findings

Robin B. Jarrett, Jeffrey R. Vittengl, Lee Anna Clark, Michael E. Thase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The skills that patients learn in cognitive therapy (CT) and use thereafter may mediate improvement in depression during and after intervention. Method We used a sequential, three-stage design: acute phase (523 outpatients received 12–14 weeks of CT); 8-month experimental phase (responders at higher risk were randomized to continuation phases: C-CT, C-fluoxetine or C-pill placebo); and 24 months of longitudinal, post-treatment follow-up. Path analyses estimated mediation by skill measured by the Skills of Cognitive Therapy (SoCT: Patient and Observer [Therapist] versions). Results Better SoCT scores predicted lower depressive symptoms both in CT and C-CT. In CT depressive symptoms did not predict subsequent changes in skills. During CT and C-CT, when averaged across patients and therapists, skills predicted subsequent decreases in depressive symptoms. Limitations Generalization of findings may be limited by the trial's methodology. Conclusion Further rigorous investigation of the role of patient CT skills stands to increase understanding of mediators of change or engaged targets in psychosocial intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume226
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2018

Keywords

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Depression
  • Mediator
  • Patient skill
  • Skills of cognitive
  • Target

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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