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Telephone-administered cognitive-behavioral therapy for clients with depressive symptoms in an employee assistance program: A pilot study

Raymond W. Lam, MD

Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Kevin Lutz, BA

Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Melady Preece, PhD

Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Paula M. Cayley, MSW

Formerly with PPC Canada, Vancouver, Canada

Anne Bowen Walker, MSW

Formerly with PPC Canada, Vancouver, Canada

BACKGROUND: To assess the clinical and work productivity effects of a brief intervention using telephone-administered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for clients with depressive symptoms attending an employee assistance program (EAP).

METHODS: Self-referred clients attending the PPC Canada EAP with clinically relevant depressive symptoms at initial assessment were offered an 8-session telephone-administered CBT program. Outcomes before and after intervention were assessed with the 9-item Personal Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and clinician ratings of work absence and performance impairment.

RESULTS: Fifty clients were referred to the pilot program; 39 participated and 31 completed the telephone CBT program. Among program participants, there was significant improvement in PHQ-9 and GAF scores. There was also a significant reduction in performance impairment but not work absence. Anecdotal reports indicated high satisfaction ratings among participants.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this pilot study, although limited by the absence of a comparison or control group, suggest that a brief telephone-administered CBT program can improve depressive symptomatology, work productivity, and general function in depressed clients attending an EAP. Further controlled studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

KEYWORDS: depression, psychotherapy, occupation, employee, telephone, productivity

ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2011;23(1):11–16

CORRESPONDENCE: Raymond W. Lam, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, 2255 Wesbrook Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 2A1 Canada E-MAIL: r.lam@ubc.ca
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2011 Quadrant HealthCom Inc.

 
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