Welcome to the CoBalT Study

CoBalT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for treatment resistant depression in primary care: a randomised controlled trial.

Each year many people visit their doctor with depression. Currently, antidepressants are the most widely available treatment. However, two-thirds of people with depression don't respond fully to antidepressants, even after an adequate dose and duration of treatment. At the moment doctors are not certain about the best way to treat these people.

There is some evidence that a talking treatment called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is helpful for depression, so it may be that a combination of treatments is effective. In CoBalT we want to find out whether giving CBT in addition to antidepressants can improve outcomes for people with treatment resistant depression, compared to antidepressant treatment alone. In order to do this we need to compare the two approaches in a randomised controlled trial.

Patients aged between 18 and 75 who have taken antidepressants for at least 6 weeks at an adequate dose, but who continue to have significant symptoms of depression may take part. Those who agree to take part will be randomly assigned to one of the two treatment groups. Both groups will be followed up by the research team for one year.

We plan to recruit 480 patients from 72 general practices in Bristol, Devon and Glasgow. We hope the results of this study will help to guide the future treatment of people with depression so that they can receive the best treatment for them. This would achieve significant savings to the health service in both time and money and have considerable impact on the patientís well-being.

What next?