Validity of sudden gains in acute phase treatment of depression

Jeffrey R. Vittengl, Lee Anna Clark, Robin B. Jarrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The authors examined the validity of sudden gains identified with T. Z. Tang and R. J. DeRubeis's (1999) method in 2 clinical data sets that involved treatment of major depressive disorder (N = 227). Sudden gains replicated among self- and clinician reports of depressive symptoms and predicted better psychosocial functioning at the acute phase treatment end point, in support of their validity. However, sudden gains occurred with roughly the same moderate frequency in pill placebo and pharmacotherapy with clinical management as in cognitive therapy. Furthermore, sudden gains predicted more depressive symptoms and negative failure attributions in longitudinal follow-up of responders to acute phase cognitive therapy. On the basis of these findings, the authors conceptualize sudden gains as one of several possible patterns of acute phase treatment response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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