Interpersonal Psychotherapy May Be Useful in Treating Major Depression in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

New research suggests that Interpersonal Psychotherapy may be an effective option for treating major depression in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

New research suggests that Interpersonal Psychotherapy may be an effective option for treating major depression in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study published in Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.

Noting that “major depression is more prevalent in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus” than in general population, and that patients and clinicians would benefit from information comparing the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment options, researchers randomized 34 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to receive treatment with either Interpersonal Psychotherapy or sertraline during a three-month “acute intervention course,” followed by three months of continued treatment.

Patients were diagnosed based on their scores on the Hospital Anxiety-Depression Scale (HADS), the Montgomery-Äsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and a structured interview (Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview).

Patients who did not achieve a reduction in their initial MADRS score of 25% or more by week six of treatment received additional care “in a sequential add-on combined format.”

In the study, 22 patients (11 from each treatment arm) achieved a reduction in their initial MADRS score of at least 25%, with 16 patients demonstrating “clinically significant improvements” (defined as a reduction of 50% or more in their initial MADRS score) after six weeks. Eleven patients achieved remission (defined as a MADRS score of 8 or less). The researchers reported “no significant differences between IPT and sertraline” in terms of clinical improvements.

The authors concluded that these preliminary results suggest that Interpersonal Psychotherapy “may be an option to treat major depression” in type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared with medical care with sertraline. They also wrote that “early non-responding patients likely need alternative or longer treatment interventions.”