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Treatment Options for Childhood Depression -- What Does the Research Say?
A large study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked to compare short- and longer-term effectiveness of medication and psychotherapy for depression in adolescents ages 12 to 17. This study showed that fluoxetine and cognitive-behavioral therapy combined produced the best success rate in treating depression in adolescents; 71 percent of participants receiving both medication and talk therapy improved at the end of 12 weeks of treatment.
Medication alone was also an effective treatment; 61 percent of participants improved; cognitive-behavioral therapy alone improved 44 percent of the cases; and clinical management with placebo, 35 percent. The difference in improvement between cognitive-behavioral therapy and clinical management with placebo was too small to be considered statistically significant.