Epub: Hind et al. Cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of depression in people with multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Jan 9;14(1):5.
BACKGROUND: Depression is a common symptom in MSers. We systematically reviewed published controlled trials on the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of depression in people with multiple sclerosis.
METHODS: Publications were identified using MEDLINE, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to June/July 2013. We combined thesaurus and free-text terms which were synonyms of the concepts MS, depression and cognitive behavioural therapy. We included published controlled trials which compared individual, group CBT, conducted face-to-face or remotely, to no CBT. Two reviewers extracted data to calculate standardized mean differences (SMD) for self-reported symptoms of depression and weighted mean differences (WMD) for the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29), with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs). We investigated statistical heterogeneity using I2.
RESULTS: Seven eligible studies (n = 433) were identified, which evaluated the effect on depression of CBT delivered individually (3 studies), in a group (3 studies) and by computer (1 study). The summary effect (SMD -0.61, 95% CI -0.96 to -0.26, p=0.0006) was reduced (SMD -0.46, 95% CI -0.75 to -0.17, p=0.002) when an outlying study was removed in a sensitivity analysis to examine statistical heterogeneity. Three studies (n=213) observed a direction of effect using the MSIS-29 which was not statistically significant (WMD -4.36, 95% CI -9.33 to 0.62, p=0.09). There was no between-subgroup heterogeneity (I2=0).
CONCLUSIONS: CBT can be an effective treatment for depression in MS. Further research should explore optimal durations and modalities of treatment for patients with different characteristics.