December 28, 2022

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression in People with Epilepsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract found on PubMed

Background: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the recommended treatment for depression in patients with epilepsy (PWE). However, there are no studies that calculate the effect size of CBT on depression and quality of life (QoL) in PWE.

Methods: We searched seven electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Cochrane Library, Clinical Trials, Ovid Medline, and PsycINFO). We included 13 studies examining CBT for depression in PWE and calculated its effect size.

Results: A total of 13 studies met the criteria. After treatment, CBT improves depression in PWE (g = 0.36, 95%CI: 0.18 to 0.54, I2 = 50%), and the efficacy maintains during follow-up (g = 0.47, 95%CI: 0.04 to 0.89, I2 = 80%). Subgroup analysis has shown that individual CBT (g = 0.47, 95%CI: 0.20 to 0.73, I2 = 0%) had a greater effect size than group CBT (g = 0.30, 95%CI: 0.07 to 0.53, I2 = 62%) in the treatment of depression. Likewise, CBT has a positive effect on the QoL improvement of PWE (g = 0.34, 95%CI: 0.11 to 0.57, I2 = 64%). In controlling seizures, CBT did not differ from the control group (g = -0.06, 95%CI: -0.32 to 0.19, I2 = 0%).

Conclusions: Cognitive behavioral therapy interventions were effective in improving depression and quality of life in patients with epilepsy, but not effective in controlling seizures. The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy interventions targeting seizure control seems to be uncertain.