, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 79-89

Predicting response to cognitive therapy of depression: The role of learned resourcefulness

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Thirty-five moderately depressed outpatients were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of cognitive therapy (N = 19), or nortriptyline (N = 16). The patients were assessed on a number of measures before the initiation of treatment to explore the potential of pretreatment variables for predicting treatment response. Both groups of patients showed significant improvement by termination. Improvement did not differ as a function of the type of treatment received. However, an interaction between initial levels of learned resourcefulness, as measured by Rosenbaum's (1980a) Self Control Schedule (SCS), and type of treatment was found. Specifically, patients entering cognitive therapy with relatively high SCS scores did better than patients with low SCS scores. Patients in the pharmacotherapy group showed the opposite pattern: Patients with initially low scores on the SCS did better with medication than did the high scorers.

This study was supported by NIMH Grant MN 32756 and NIH Grant AM 31496-01. The authors wish to thank Betty Renolds for preparing the manuscript. Special thanks to Dr. Sol L. Garfield for his thoughtful comments on an early draft of this article.