Do Client Attributes Moderate the Effectiveness of a Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression in Addiction Treatment?

  • Sarah B. Hunter
  • Susan M. Paddock
  • Annie Zhou
  • Katherine E. Watkins
  • Kimberly A. Hepner


The study goal was to determine whether client attributes were associated with outcomes from group cognitive behavioral therapy for depression (GCBT-D) as delivered in community-based addiction treatment settings. Data from 299 depressed residential clients assigned to receive either usual care (N = 159) or usual care plus GCBT-D (N = 140) were examined. Potential moderators included gender, race/ethnicity, education, referral status, and problem substance use. Study outcomes at 6 months post-baseline included changes in depressive symptoms, mental health functioning, negative consequences from substance use, and percentage of days abstinent. Initial examination indicated that non-Hispanic Whites had significantly better outcomes than other racial/ethnic groups on two of the four outcomes. After correcting for multiple testing, none of the examined client attributes moderated the treatment effect. GCBT-D appears effective; however, the magnitude and consistency of treatment effects indicate that it may be less helpful among members of racial/ethnic minority groups and is worthy of future study.


Addiction Treatment Candidate Moderator Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Mental Health Functioning Referral Status 
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Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah B. Hunter
    • 1
  • Susan M. Paddock
    • 1
  • Annie Zhou
    • 1
  • Katherine E. Watkins
    • 1
  • Kimberly A. Hepner
    • 1
  1. 1.RAND, Drug Policy Research CenterSanta MonicaUSA

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