-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Self-help books and
websites can benefit people with severe depression and should be
included as part of the first line of treatment, a new study
For the report, the researchers reviewed several studies that
included a total of nearly 2,500 adult patients with different
degrees of depression who received treatment outside of a
Patients with more severe depression derived at least as much
benefit from low-intensity interventions -- such as self-help books
and interactive websites -- as those with less severe depression,
according to the report published online Feb. 26 in the
These types of low-intensity interventions are meant to help
patients manage their depressive symptoms, often with limited
support from a health professional, the researchers explained in a
journal news release.
The findings indicate that low-intensity interventions should be
included as part of the first step of depression treatment and that
patients should be encouraged to use them, concluded Peter Bower,
of the University of Manchester in England, and colleagues.
The authors also suggested that future research should examine
whether low-intensity treatments are cost-effective compared to
longer and more expensive psychological therapies, and determine
how low-intensity intervention in the first stage of treatment
might affect future treatment.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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