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The Antidepressive Behavior Scale: A developmental study assessing the usefulness and reliability of a new antidepressive activity measure

25 July 2003


Cognitive-behavioral treatments for depression have been shown to be both cost- -effective (Antonuccio, Thomas & Danton, 1997) and efficacious (Shapiro, et al, 1994). In regards to this study, behavioral interventions are of most interest due to the research findings supporting the relationship between depressed mood and mood-related pleasant events (Lewinsohn & Arnenson, 1978; Rehm, 1978; Rippere, 1976, 1979). There is a lack, however, of an updated outcome measure that assesses the effects of behavior therapy on depressed mood in regards to pleasurable activities.

This two-part study developed and assessed a new pleasurable activities questionnaire. The pilot study gathered data from 41 participants, which was compiled to produce a new Antidepressive Behavior Scale (ABS). The main study assessed the questionnaire's reliability and usefulness by comparing two groups of subjects: a clinical group (N = 28), which included participants who were in therapy and depressed as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and a control group (N = 44), which included participants who were not in therapy and who were not depressed as measured by the BDI-II. The results show that the new ABS had moderate internal consistency reliability for frequency of activities engaged in (.72), the impact of the activities on mood (.87), and the frequency engaged in during the past two-week period (.68). Non-depressed control group individuals engaged in seven out of 15 groups of activities more frequently than depressed clinical group participants and reported that seven out of 15 groups of activities impacted their mood in a more positive manner than did clinical group participants. There were six out of 15 groups of activities where no significant difference was found between the clinical group and the control group. Clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations are made for future research.


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