Generally, patients suffering from depression may be subjected to a cognitive behavioral therapy. Well, here is a simpler and effective means to tackle depression. A latest study suggests that peer support offers improved results for depression than traditional care and similar outcomes as compared to cognitive behavioral therapy.
As a part of the investigation, 10 randomized trials of peer support interventions for depression were thoroughly evaluated. All the trials included in the study were conducted from 1987 to 2009. Experts observed that peer support can be employed as an effective treatment for depression. It probably reduces isolation, declines stress, increases the sharing of health information and provides role models.
A major advantage of peer support programs is that it can be undertaken with the help of volunteers and nonprofessionals. Such programs can also be done over the phone or Internet as well as in person. This low-cost tool appears effective for a wide number of people under medications for depression. Paul Pfeiffer, M.D., M.S., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School and researcher at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and also the lead author of the study along with his colleagues conclude that peer support programs can be offered for significantly reducing the symptoms of depression.
The study is published online in the General Hospital Psychiatry.