Do scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-II predict outcome in cognitive processing therapy?
August 06, 2015
Hemmy Asamsama O, Dickstein BD & Chard KM.
Psychol Trauma. 2015 May 25. Advance online publication. PMID: 26010112 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Current treatment guidelines for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recognize that severe depression may limit the effectiveness of trauma-focused interventions, making it necessary to address depression symptomatology first. However, there is a paucity of research providing specific treatment recommendations using a common depression measure like the BeckDepression Inventory-II (BDI-II).
Accordingly, we examined the utility of using BDI-II cutoff scores for predicting response to cognitive processing therapy (CPT). Our sample was 757 military veterans receiving outpatient therapy at a Department of Veterans Affairs specialty clinic. At baseline, the majority of participants (58.9%) reported BDI-II scores suggestive of severe depression, and 459 (60.7%) met DSM–IV diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD).
Despite this high level of depression severity, most participants who completed therapy experienced a clinically significant reduction in symptoms (75.1%). No differences were observed across BDI-II groups on rates of clinically significant change in PTSD symptoms or on rates of treatment completion. Taken together, results suggest that CPT is an effective treatment, even in cases of severe co-occurring depression. Limitations and implications for treatment guidelines are discussed.