A group of researchers found that talk therapy is not very effective for treating depression. The research says that health officials have long overstated the advantages of talk therapy, mainly because trials with poor results did not made it into journals and publications.
This is the first analysis of this kind. The research accounts for unpublished test results of talk therapy. To their surprise, researchers found that most of the results that were not published had unfavorable results. However, the team found that other kind of treatments such as interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavior therapy are effective, but not as effective as they thought. Apparently, both these types of therapy are about 25% less effective than it was previously believed.
Researchers have long known that the vast majority of journal articles tend to only publish the more favorable facts about antidepressants and depression therapy. Why is that? Maybe because the publications want to encourage important findings. But little do they know that by being biased towards positive discoveries they tend to ignore one major aspect of health: adverse effects.
The new research was published in the journal PLOS One, and the team in charge with it are hoping that it would offer doctors, as well as patients, a better perspective to look at various forms of therapy from now on.
The research is encouraging more debates in the psychotherapy field, which they believe that will completely change the face of the field in the future. Strong debates will always favor a faster evolution, especially in psychotherapy.
The research should be taken seriously because the statistics show that about 5-6 million people in the United States receive psychotherapy each year in order to be cured of depression. These types of therapy often include treatment with antidepressant drugs as well.
Experts said that some people find relief by just visiting their doctors regularly and talk about their problems. But by putting the unpublished results they had gathered side-by-side with the official stats, they found that talk therapy is 10% less effective than it was thought. Previously, this type of therapy was believed to give a change of 30% to achieving long-lasting recovery. The difference may look small, but in fact, it suggests that thousands of patients are unlikely to benefit from talk therapy.
The research belongs to a new initiative from the scientific community that seeks to scrutinize past studies and find if they were conducted correctly.
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