An exploratory randomized controlled trial of body psychotherapy for patients with chronic depression. 


Abstract. Background. Chronic major depressive disorder and dysthymia are associated with a high burden and substantial care costs. New and more effective treatments are required. This is the first randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Body Psychotherapy (BPT) in patients with chronic depression.
Methods. Patients with chronic depressive syndromes (more than 2 years symptomatic) and a total score of =20 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) were randomly allocated to either immediate BPT or a waiting group which received BPT 12 weeks later. BPT was manualized, delivered in small groups in 20 sessions over a 10 weeks period, and provided in addition to treatment as usual. In an intention to treat analysis, primary outcome were depressive symptoms at the end of treatment adjusted for baseline symptom levels. Secondary outcomes were self-esteem and subjective quality of life.
Results. Thirty-one patients were included and twenty-one received the intervention. At the end of treatment patients in the immediate BPT group had significantly lower depressive symptom scores than the waiting group (mean difference 8.7, 95% confidence interval 1.0–16.7). Secondary outcomes did not show statistically significant differences. When the scores of the waiting group before and after BPT (as offered after the waiting period) were also considered in the analysis, the differences with the initial waiting group remained significant.
Conclusions. The results suggest that BPT may be an effective treatment option for patients with chronic depression. Difficulty recruiting and subsequent attrition was one of the limitations, but the findings merit further trials with larger samples and process studies to identify the precise therapeutic mechanisms

Research Collaborators​
Papadopoulos, N., & Priebe, S.