PEER SUPPORT MAY REDUCE DEPRESSION SYMPTOM BETTER THAN TRADITIONAL CARE

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Peer support appears to be a low-cost and effective way to reduce depression symptoms, a new study finds. Programs in which patients received support from volunteers were found to reduce depression symptoms better than traditional care alone and were about as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy, the researchers found. Reported online in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry, the researchers note that peer support has been found to decrease isolation, reduce stress, increase the sharing of health information and provide role models. Peer support programs may also empower patients to play a more active role in their own self-care, they write. (HealthDay News, 2/18/11)

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