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Thursday 18th July 2019

Self-help books aid depression

21st January 2013

A new study has suggested self-help books should be prescribed by the health service as they could benefit people with depression.


The study's leader, Professor Christopher Williams from Glasgow University, said depressed people who were given self-help literature along with sessions advising them how to use the books, had "lower levels" of depression after a year.

Over 200 depressed patients participated in the study. Around 50% of the group were taking antidepressant medication prescribed by their GPs.

After a four-month period, the patients who read self-help books and had three sessions with an adviser had "significantly lower" levels of depression compared to patients who only saw their GPs.

Professor Williams commented: "We found this had a really significant clinical impact and the findings are very encouraging."

"Depression saps people's motivation and makes it hard to believe change is possible." 

Dr Paul Blenkiron, consultant in adult psychiatry at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said the research revealed that self-help alongside guided sessions worked and was "something the NHS should be investing in". 


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