IPT for other disorders

The success of IPT in treating mood disorders has led to its application to non-mood syndromes as well. Substance abuse

IPT has not demonstrated efficacy in two clinical trials with substance-abusing patients. The first study found no additional benefit in reducing psychopathology when adjunctive IPT was added to standard treatment, compared to the standard programme alone, for 72 methadone-maintained opiate abusers. (69> The same team found that 12 weeks of IPT was ineffective and marginally worse than behavioural treatment for 42 cocaine abusers attempting to achieve abstinence. (79 The two negative studies suggest limits to the range of utility of IPT, but do not necessarily doom its use for substance abuse. IPT might be useful, for example, in treating newly abstinent, alcohol-dependent patients, who face numerous psychosocial stressors that have been shown to precipitate relapse.


Fairburn and colleagues altered IPT for studies of bulimic patients, eliminating the use of the sick role and of role playing, so that relatively distinct strategies could be used in a comparison of IPT and CBT/71..,7 7 and 74) This research showed that although CBT worked faster, IPT had long-term benefits comparable with CBT and superior to a behavioural control condition.

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