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The feasibility of brief behavioural activation treatment for depression in a PICU: a systematic replication

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Behavioural treatments for depression have shown promising preliminary effects for depression in inpatient wards. However, more research is needed regarding their feasibility in psychiatric intensive care units (PICU). The aim of the current trial was to examine the feasibility of brief behavioural activation treatment for depression (BATD) in a PICU. 'BATD added to standard care' was compared to 'standard care' in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) with moderate to severely depressed inpatients. Between group differences on BDI-II (n = 19) was significant on post-test and gain-scores with strong effect sizes towards BATD, and response rates were significantly higher for participants who received BATD, with a strong effect size. Participants rated BATD as credible and acceptable in the setting. Treatment integrity was high and participant attrition was low for participants receiving BATD added to standard care. Preliminary support for BATD's clinical significance, credibility and acceptability was found among inpatients. The main limitation was the large number of ineligible participants due to the inclusion criteria. The current study provides further support for BATD's feasibility for treating depression among inpatients, including its administration by inpatient nursing staff.
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Keywords: ACUTE; BEHAVIORAL ACTIVATION; DEPRESSION; INPATIENTS; RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL; REPLICATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2018

This article was made available online on February 10, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "The feasibility of brief behavioural activation treatment for depression in a PICU: a systematic replication".

More about this publication?
  • Published twice a year, the Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care is devoted to issues affecting the care and treatment of people with mental disorders who manifest severely disturbed functioning. The journal is international and multidisciplinary. It provides stimulating papers and articles of interest to those who work in or study psychiatric intensive care, low secure services, acute inpatient wards, challenging behaviour environments, emergency psychiatry, or intensive treatments settings in other parts of the wider mental health system. The Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care encourages informed debate and exchange of opinion. Its content includes editorials, original research, brief reports, reviews, conference reports, news and notices, but preference is given to original research of a high scientific quality.
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