New research has found that non-pharmacological interventions such as supportive stress management are more effective than medications for treating depression after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
Dr. Kenneth E. Freedland and colleagues from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conducted the study which involved 123 patients who experienced depression within one year after CABG surgery.
The patients were randomly assigned to usual care as determined by primary care or other physicians, to cognitive behavior therapy and to supportive stress management group.
After three months, only 33 percent of those in the first group saw improvement, while 71 percent of patients in the cognitive behavior therapy and 57 percent in supportive stress management group experienced remission of their depression.
"Cognitive behavior therapy was also superior to usual care on most secondary psychological outcomes, including anxiety, hopelessness, perceived stress and the mental component of health-related quality of life," the authors wrote.
The study was published in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Among other effective stress and anxiety-combating techniques are exercise, proper diet and nutritional supplements.