Perceptions of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Antidepressant Medication for Depression After Brief Psychoeducation: Examining Shifts in Attitudes

S. Beshai, Lisa M. Watson, Tyler J.S. Meadows, Joelle N. Soucy

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The majority of people with depression in the United States either never seek treatment or gravitate exclusively to antidepressant medication (ADM), despite the existence of other effective treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Reluctance to use psychotherapy is partly due to lack of appropriate mental health literacy and perceptions of low treatment acceptability (appropriateness for a given problem) and credibility (treatment logicalness, and whether the patient expects improvement). In the current investigation, we examined whether providing psychoeducation about CBT for depression would change participant perceptions of the treatment's acceptability and credibility. We recruited 554 (female n = 314; 57%) participants across two online studies, and assessed their baseline perceptions of CBT and ADM using modified Treatment Acceptability (TAAS) and Treatment Credibility and Expectancy (CEQ) scales. Participants were subsequently presented with evidence-based, expert-vetted psychoeducational materials describing CBT and ADM, and were asked to recomplete the TAAS and CEQ. In Study 1, participants endorsed significantly higher CBT-CEQ (credibility/expectancy) scores postpsychoeducation. In Study 2, participants endorsed significantly lower CBT-TAAS (acceptability), and among those with no exposure to depression treatments, endorsed significantly higher CBT-CEQ scores postpsychoeducation. In both studies, there were no perceptual changes of ADM after the psychoeducation. Finally, in Study 2, endorsement of a biological model of depression and depressive symptoms were negatively predictive of CBT's acceptability and credibility and expectancy postpsychoeducation. Perceptions of credibility and expectancy of CBT for depression appear malleable even after exposure to brief psychoeducation, whereas shifting perceptions of CBT's acceptability may require more extensive intervention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)851-863
    Number of pages13
    JournalBehavior Therapy
    Volume50
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep. 2019

    Keywords

    • cognitive-behavioral therapy
    • depression
    • mental health literacy
    • treatment acceptability
    • treatment credibility

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