Group Cognitive Therapy and Alprazolam in the Treatment of Depression in Older Adults

Larry E. Beutler, Forrest Scogin, Patricia Kirkish, David Schretlen, Anne Corbishley, David Hamblin, Keith Meredith, Rebecca Potter, Colin R. Bamford, Alan I. Levenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


This study was designed to explore the relative and combined effectiveness of alprazolam (Xanax) and group cognitive therapy among elderly adults experiencing major affective disorder. Fifty-six subjects with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III;American Psychiatric Association, 1980) diagnoses of major, unipolar depression were treated over a 20-week period in one of four groups: alprazolam support, placebo support, cognitive therapy plus placebo support, and cognitive therapy plus alprazolam support. The results revealed that individuals assigned to group cognitive therapy showed consistent improvement in subjective state and sleep efficiency relative to non-group-therapy subjects. No differences between alprazolam and placebo were noted, regardless of whether individuals received group cognitive therapy. Subjects assigned to group cognitive therapy were less likely than their counterparts to prematurely terminate treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-556
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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