Cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression in Parkinson's disease: A pilot study



The present study was conducted to examine the feasibility and effect of an individual cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for depression that was modified to meet the unique needs of the PD patient and incorporated a separate social support intervention for caregivers. Fifteen PD patients with Major Depressive Disorder participated in the study with a caregiver. Patients received 10–14 sessions of modified individual CBT. Caregivers attended 3–4 psychoeducational sessions, occurring separately from the patients treatment sessions, which focused on strategies for offering appropriate support, and ways to respond to the patients' negative thoughts in a targeted manner. Patients experienced a significant reduction in depressive symptoms and negative cognitions, and an increased perception of social support over the course of treatment. Gains were maintained at 1-month follow-up. In conclusion, individual CBT, when modified appropriately, may be a feasible and effective option for PD depression. Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to further evaluate the efficacy of this intervention and to identify specific mechanisms of change. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society