A new study has found that behavioral activation therapy could be just as efficient as cognitive behavioral therapy in treating depression.
The new method can be provided by mental health workers that undergo a minimal treatment and is therefore much cheaper than cognitive therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is provided by specialists that are highly trained, and that request high prices in their work. Patients have less access to the cure, as they need to afford it or to have a good health insurance.
The British Comparative Study
In the US, only a quarter of the people suffering from depression received psychological therapy in the last year.
The authors of the study suggest that, by promoting behavioral activation treatment, the waiting lists could be reduced, and the depression patients will have improved access to treatment.
The research was conducted by the University of Exeter in England and involved 440 adults diagnosed with depression. They were split into two groups, one that received cognitive behavioral therapy and another that underwent behavioral activation therapy.
After one year, almost two-thirds of the patients in both groups had half fewer depression symptoms. The number of depression-free days was similar, and the anxiety marks showed the same level.
However, the treatment cost was 20% lower for the patients in the behavioral activation group.
Behavioral Activation, The Cheap Kind of Therapy
The authors explain that the new type of treatment focuses on the way patients act and teaches the clients to connect behavior and mood. The goal is to experience more positive situations while dealing with the difficult times and finding alternatives to practices that are unhelpful.
The cognitive behavioral therapy has more to do with the way a person thinks. The therapists help clients to identify and correct thoughts and believe that are not useful, including ideas about themselves, about the future or the world.
The new form of therapy could be an available option for people who don’t have the financial means to sustain a complex cure. The authors point out that the minimal training requested in the behavioral activation therapy could also induce a cost reduction for the learning mental health professionals.
However, there is still one-third of people who do not respond to either cognitive behavioral therapy or behavioral activation.
The researchers hope that the findings of this study will help to implement a large-scale implementation of the new simpler type of treatment, which could be done for the benefit of patients all around the world, crossing geographical and cultural conditions.
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