The authors contrasted four treatments for unipolar (nonpsychotic)
depression: 1) amitriptyline, 2) social skills training plus amitriptyline,
3) social skills training plus placebo, and 4) psychotherapy plus placebo.
They studied 72 female outpatients, 52 of whom completed the 12 weeks of
treatment. The four treatments, conducted by experienced clinicians, were
not substantially different from one another. Each treatment produced
significant and clinically meaningful changes in symptomatology and social
functioning. However, the authors identified several notable differences
across groups: a significant difference in dropout rates (from a high of
55.6% for the amitriptyline group to a low of 15% for the social skills
plus placebo group) and a significant difference in the proportion of
patients who were substantially improved. The social skills plus placebo
treatment was the most effective treatment on this dimension.