The Moderating Effects of Group Cognitive–behavioral Therapy for Depression Among Substance Users

Published In: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 2012, p. 906-916

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Sarah B. Hunter, Katie Witkiewitz, Katherine E. Watkins, Susan Paddock, Kimberly A. Hepner

Read More

Access further information on this document at American Psychological Association

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This study examined the prospective longitudinal relationship between changes in depressive symptoms on alcohol and or drug (i.e., substance) use among addiction participants in treatment, and whether group cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression (GCBT-D) moderated the relationship. Using a quasi-experimental intent-to-treat design, 299 residential addiction treatment clients with depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-II, BDI-II scores > 17; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) were assigned to either usual care (n = 159) or usual care plus a 16-session GCBT-D intervention (n = 140). Two follow-up interviews were conducted, one 3 months after the baseline interview corresponding to the end of the intervention, and then one 3 months later. Parallel-process growth modeling was used to examine changes in depressive symptoms and the associated changes in abstinence and negative consequences from substance use over time. Treatment group was included as a moderator of the association. Participants in the GCBT-D condition showed a greater increase in abstinence and greater decreases in depressive symptoms and negative consequences over time. There were significant interaction effects, such that the associations between depressive symptoms, negative consequences, and abstinence changes were larger in the usual-care condition than in the GCBT-D condition. The results suggest that the intervention may be effective by attenuating the association between depressive symptoms and substance use outcomes. These findings contribute to the emerging literature on the prospective longitudinal associations between depressive symptoms and substance use changes by being the first to examine them among a sample receiving GCBT-D in an addiction treatment setting.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.