LONG-TERM DEPRESSION TREATMENT LEADS TO SUSTAINED RECOVERY FOR MOST TEENS
Long-term treatment of adolescents with major depression is associated with continuous and persistent improvement of depression symptoms in the most cases. According to the most recent analysis of follow-up data from NIMH-funded Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). The report, along with a commentary compiling the take-home messages of the study, was published in the October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The longer-term treatment of TADS, regardless of treatment strategy, was associated with lasting benefits for the majority of participants. However, a significant number of those who had recovered worsened during the follow-up period, indicating a need for continuous clinical monitoring and further improvement in long-term treatment of youth with major depression.
The final results of TADS suggest that for most teens with depression, long-term, evidence-based treatments are effective and sustainable. But future research should concentrate on improving treatment strategies to reduce the rate of depression relapse or deterioration. The authors suggest that a randomized maintenance therapy trial would help determine how long active treatment should last to ensure the effects of treatment will endure over time.
TADS Team. The Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS): Outcomes over one year of naturalistic follow-up. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2009 Oct. 166(10): 1141-1149.
March JS and Vitiello B. Take home messages from the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). American Journal of Psychiatry.2009 Oct. 166(10):1118-1123.