Article

Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 258-271

First online:

Bibliotherapy as a Treatment for Depression in Primary Care

  • Elizabeth V. NaylorAffiliated withDepartment of Family & Community Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine Email author 
  • , David O. AntonuccioAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • , Mark LittAffiliated withDivision of Behavioral Sciences, University of Connecticut Health Center
  • , Gary E. JohnsonAffiliated withDepartment of Family & Community Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • , Daniel R. SpogenAffiliated withDepartment of Family & Community Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • , Richard WilliamsAffiliated withDepartment of Family & Community Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • , Catherine McCarthyAffiliated withDepartment of Family & Community Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • , Marcia M. LuAffiliated withDepartment of Family & Community Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • , David C. FioreAffiliated withDepartment of Family & Community Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine
    • , Dianne L. HigginsAffiliated withTahoe Forest Multispecialty Clinics

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

This study was designed to determine whether a physician-delivered bibliotherapy prescription would compare favorably with the prevailing usual care treatment for depression in primary care (that often involves medication) and potentially offer an alternative. Six family physicians were trained to write and deliver prescriptions for cognitive-behavioral bibliotherapy. Thirty-eight patients were randomly assigned to receive either usual care or a behavioral prescription to read the self-help book, Feeling Good (Burns, D. D. (1999). Feeling good: The new mood therapy. New York: HarperCollins). The treatment groups did not differ in terms of overall outcome variables. Patients in both treatment groups reported statistically significant decreases in depression symptoms, decreases in dysfunctional attitudes, and increases in quality of life. Although not statistically significant, the mean net medical expenses in the behavioral prescription group were substantially less. This study provided empirical evidence that a behavioral prescription for Feeling Good may be as effective as standard care, which commonly involves an antidepressant prescription.

Keywords

Depression Primary care Bibliotherapy Usual care