Recognizing that medical illness is the kind of serious life event that might lend itself to IPT treatment, Markowitz et al. (1992) modified IPT for depressed HIV patients (IPT-HIV), emphasizing common issues among this population, including concerns about illness and death, grief, and role transitions. A pilot open trial found that 21 of the 24 depressed patients responded. In a 16-week controlled study, 101 subjects were randomized to IPT-HIV, CBT, supportive psychotherapy (SP), or IMI plus SP (Markowitz et al., 1998). All treatments were associated with symptom reduction, but IPT and IMI-SP produced symptomatic and functional improvement significantly greater than CBT or SP. These results recall those of more severely depressed subjects in the NIMH TDCRP study (Elkin et al., 1989). Many HIV-positive patients responding to treatment reported improvement of neurovegetative physical symptoms that they had mistakenly attributed to HIV infection.
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