Response to Cognitive Therapy in Depression

The Role of Maladaptive Beliefs and Personality Disorders

Published In: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v. 69, no. 3, June 2001, p. 560-566

Posted on RAND.org on June 01, 2001

by Willem Kuyken, Nicole K. Eberhart, Robert J. DeRubeis, Aaron T. Beck, Gregory K. Brown

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This study examined whether personality disorder status and beliefs that characterize personality disorders affect response to cognitive therapy. In a naturalistic study, 162 depressed outpatients with and without a personality disorder were followed over the course of cognitive therapy. As would be hypothesized by cognitive theory (A. T. Beck & A. Freeman, 1990), it was not personality disorder status but rather maladaptive avoidant and paranoid beliefs that predicted variance in outcome. However, pre- to posttherapy comparisons suggested that although patients with or without comorbidity respond comparably to "real-world" cognitive therapy, they report more severe depressive symptomatology at intake and more residual symptoms at termination.

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