Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 111–124

Comparative efficacy of behavioral and cognitive treatments of depression


  • Peter H. Wilson
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Sydney
  • June C. Goldin
    • University of New South Wales
  • Marie Charbonneau-Powis
    • University of New South Wales

DOI: 10.1007/BF01190064

Cite this article as:
Wilson, P.H., Goldin, J.C. & Charbonneau-Powis, M. Cogn Ther Res (1983) 7: 111. doi:10.1007/BF01190064


Twenty-five depressed subjects were allocated to either behavioral treatment, cognitive treatment, or no-treatment conditions for an 8-week period. Measures of depressive-related symptomatology and treatment-related target areas were administered prior to treatment, at midtreatment, and immediately following treatment. Depression was also assessed at a 5-month follow-up. Marked improvement was observed on most measures across the treatment period in both treatment conditions but not in the notreatment condition. Cognitive and behavioral treatments were found to be equally effective in alleviating depression. Treatment effects were maintained at the follow-up. At all but the midtreatment assessment, the two treatments were found to have an equivalent impact on treatment-related target areas. Various explanations of the results are offered, including the role of nonspecific treatment factors.

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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983