Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Researcher: Ben Whalley

This work is a large, multi-centre trial, called REFRAMED collaborating with the universities of Southampton, Bristol, Swansea, Bangor, and King's College London. 

The Reframed study is a multi-site study investigating the effectiveness and mechanisms of a new treatment for treatment-resistant depression, namely Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT). The name 'REFRAMED' stands for REFRActory depression - Mechanisms and Efficacy of Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

Why are we doing this study?

Depression is an extremely common mental health problem that is most commonly treated with antidepressant drugs. Unfortunately, some people continue to feel depressed even though they have taken antidepressants for a while.

New Behaviour Therapy for Depression

Recently, a new type of therapy has been developed, called Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT). Standard DBT was originally developed to help people with borderline personality disorder or people who harmed themselves. However, recent studies have shown that RO-DBT can help people suffering from depression for whom antidepressants do not seem to help.

We want to know whether RO-DBT together with antidepressant medication is better than antidepressant medication alone by asking people to take part and checking back with these people a year after they’ve finished their treatment to see how they are doing.

In order to work out which is the best way to help people who suffer from depression, we will organise people into two groups. One group will continue to take their antidepressants as usual and the other group will take part in a course of RO-DBT in addition to taking their medications.