The efficacy of psychoeducation on recurrent depression: a randomized trial with a 2-year follow-up

Jørgen Aagaard*, Leslie Foldager, Ahmad Makki, Vibeke N Hansen, Klaus Müller-Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: The efficacy of psychoeducation is well documented in the treatment of relapse prevention of schizophrenia, and recently also in bipolar disorder; however, for recurrent depression only few controlled studies focusing on the efficacy of psychoeducation have been conducted. Aims: This randomized study tests the efficacy of treatment-as-usual supplemented with a psychoeducative programme for patients with recurrent depression, treated at Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC) in Denmark. The primary outcome measurements concern was decline in consumption of psychiatric inpatient services and decline in Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI). Methods: Eighty patients were randomized, either to the psychoeducative programme (consisting of eight sessions, each of 2 hours duration) and 2-year outpatient follow-up (42 cases), or only to 2-year outpatient follow-up (38 controls). The patients were monitored during 2 years after randomization. Data were collected from interviews including BDI, drug treatment and social measurements, and register data concerning use of psychiatric services. Results: At 2-year follow-up, a significant reduction in the consumption of psychiatric inpatient services and in BDI was found; however, it was uniform for case and control patients. Drop-out/non-compliance was significantly more frequent among patients randomized to the control group. Furthermore, during follow-up the case group got a significant stronger attachment to the Labour market than the control group. Conclusions: The primary hypothesis could not be confirmed. Secondary outcome measurements concerning drop-out/non-compliance and attachment to the Labour market were significantly in favour of cases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)223-229
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • drop-out
  • non-compliance
  • psychoeducation
  • Randomized study
  • recurrent depression


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