Cochrane Summaries

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Relaxation for depression

Jorm AF, Morgan AJ, Hetrick SE
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

Many people with depression do not get treatment or delay getting treatment. One reason for this is that they do not like antidepressants. Another is the limited availability of specialized psychological treatments, such as cognitive-behaviour therapy. Relaxation techniques are a simple psychological treatment that can be administered after brief training. The review of 15 trials found that it was better than no treatment or minimal treatment, but not as effective as psychological therapies like cognitive-behaviour therapy. Relaxation techniques have potential as a simple first-line psychological treatment for depression. Those who do not respond within a set time could be offered more complex psychological treatment such as cognitive-behaviour therapy.

This record should be cited as: 
Jorm AF, Morgan AJ, Hetrick SE. Relaxation for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD007142. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007142.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
13 August 2008