Interpersonal psychotherapy IPT for late-life depression in general practice: uptake and satisfaction by patients, therapists and physiciansReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Family Practice

, 8:52

First Online: 13 September 2007Received: 03 October 2006Accepted: 13 September 2007


BackgroundInterpersonal Psychotherapy IPT is recommended in most depression treatment guidelines and proved to be a suitable treatment for elderly depressed patients. Despite the favorable results of IPT in research populations, the dissemination to general practice is surprisingly limited. Little is known about uptake and satisfaction when this therapy is introduced into real-life general practice.

MethodsMotivation and evaluation of patients, GPs and therapists were recorded and organizational barriers described alongside a randomized controlled trial. IPT, given by mental health workers, was compared with usual general practitioner GP care. Included were patients ≥55 years who met the DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder.

ResultsPatients were motivated for the psychotherapy intervention: of the 205 eligible patients, 143 70% entered the study, and of the 69 patients who were offered IPT, 77% complied with the treatment. IPT proved to be an attractive therapy for patients as well as for therapists from mental health organizations. General practitioners evaluated the intervention positively afterwards, mainly because of the time-limited and structured approach. Organizational barriers: no IPT therapists were available; an IPT trainer and supervisor had to be trained and training materials had to be developed and translated. Additionally, there was a lack of office space in some general practices; for therapists from private practices it was not feasible to participate because of financial reasons. IPT was superior to usual care in patients with moderate to severe depression.

ConclusionAs we succeeded in delivering IPT in primary care practice, and as IPT was superior to usual care, there are grounds to support the implementation of IPT for depressed elderly patients within general practice, as long as the practices have room for the therapists and financial barriers can be overcome. Consolidation may be achieved by making this intervention available through practice nurses or community psychiatric nurses who deliver IPT as part of a more comprehensive depression management program.

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Autor: Digna JF van Schaik - Harm WJ van Marwijk - Aartjan TF Beekman - Marten de Haan - Richard van Dyck


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