Problem-Solving Therapy for Depression in Adults: A Systematic Review

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Objectives: This article presents a systematic review of the evidence on problem-solving therapy (PST) for depressive disorders in noninstitutionalized adults.

Method: Intervention studies using randomized controlled designs are included and methodological quality is assessed using a standard set of criteria from the Cochrane Collaborative Review Initiative.

Results: Twenty-two studies investigating PST for adult depression are compiled and examined. Studies differ in scope and methodological rigor. Sample sizes vary widely; all study outcomes include depression measures; problems in masking of group assignment and randomization are noted.

Conclusions: Mixed evidence for PST as a depression treatment is found. The combined use of PST and antidepressant treatment has more favorable outcomes compared with PST alone for social work practice.