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10.30 AM - 12.00 PM

Schema Therapy for Depression – Results of an RCT in an Inpatient and Day Clinic Setting (OPTIMA Trial)

by Samy Egli


Background: There is evidence from randomized controlled trials for the efficacy of Schema Therapy in outpatient settings for patients, for instance, with personality disorders or depression. To the best of our knowledge, there is no such evidence for an inpatient and day clinic setting with a much shorter treatment duration.

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing Schema Therapy vs. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. individual supportive therapy in N = 294 patients with depression in an inpatient and day clinic setting for a treatment duration of 7 weeks. The primary outcome was the BDI-II.

Results: Schema Therapy showed a strong pre to post effect size of Cohen’s d = 1.4. Schema Therapy did not show a clinically relevant difference and can be considered as not inferior to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. However, Schema Therapy was also not significantly better than individual supportive therapy.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge this is the first trial that documents the non-inferiority of Schema Therapy compared to the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in an inpatient and day clinic setting for patients with depression within a short treatment duration of only 7 weeks.

    About the Presenter:

    Samy Egli, M.Sc.

    Samy Egli is a M.Sc. in Applied Cognitive Psychology at the University of Zurich in 2004, after a year in research at Harvard Medical School affiliated McLean Hospital, Boston, USA in 2001. Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and psychopathology, with a research stay at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich in 2008. Master of Advanced Studies and Certification in psychotherapy with a cognitive behavioral and interpersonal focus at the Klaus-Grawe-Institute for Psychological Therapy, Zurich and the University of Basel in 2012. After six years as a clinical psychotherapist and deputy Head of Psychology at the Schloessli-Clinic near Zurich until 2014, starting in 2015 as Head of Psychology at the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany. Currently working in the continuous establishment of a method-integrative psychotherapy in clinical psychiatry, research and training with a focus in and passion for Schema Therapy in individual and group- in- and outpatient settings.

    Why Schema Therapy?

    Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.

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