UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Depressive Disorder, Major; Behavior Therapy; Cognitive Therapy


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


Behavioral activation (BA) has emerged as an effective intervention for major depressive disorder. Previous research has indicated that it is as effective as the full cognitive behavioral treatment package (CBT). Conceptualized to consume fewer participant sessions, BA may be more efficient and cost-effective than CBT. With depression among the most common diagnoses in practice settings, NIMH's recent vision statement calls for continued research devoted to cost- and time-effective targeted treatment alternatives, including "behavioral activation as a more simply behavioral form of CBT" (NIMH, 2005, p. 92). The present investigation piloted a 10-week individual intervention model of BA with medicated and unmedicated participants in a clinical research setting. This follows our earlier report (Porter, Spates, & Smitham, 2004) of an efficacious group-administered BA intervention. In comparison to the group intervention, end state functioning of participants in the present investigation revealed more robust symptom reductions to within the fully recovered range of functioning.


Cullen, J., Spates, R., Pagoto, S.L., & Doran, N. (2006). Behavioral activation treatment for major depressive disorder: A pilot investigation. Behavior Analyst Today.7(1), 151-166. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavior Analyst Today