Psychological Support Can Help Depressed Youngsters

May 22, 1998

(Systematic review of efficacy of cognitive behaviour therapies in childhood and adolescent depressive disorder)

Until recently it was widely believed that depression was rare in children, but over the last 15 years there has been increasing recognition that some children suffer from the same symptoms as adults. In this week's BMJ, Professor Richard Harrington et al from the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and the Hope Hospital in Salford, consider ways of treating child sufferers based on a study of youngsters aged eight to 19 years old. They report that previous studies have found no proof that antidepressant medication relieves symptoms, but that their study found that psychological treatment, in the form of cognitive behaviour therapy, is effective in treating moderate depression. However, the authors conclude by noting that their study is based on a small number of trials and therefore wider research should now be undertaken.

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Professor Richard Harrington, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester
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BMJ

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