Abstract:ObjectiveCognitive therapy and SSRIs are widely used in the treatment of depression. The aim of this article was to review the literature comparing the effects of cognitive therapy and SSRIs in the treatment of major depression. MethodThe authors reviewed original studies and reviews comparing the effects of cognitive therapy and SSRIs in the treatment of major depression. The articles were collected by searching four databases with the search words: cognitive therapy, behavio(u)ral therapy, depression and antidepress*. A total of 176 studies and articles were collected, 14 of these were analysed.Results and conclusionThe effects of cognitive therapy and medication are similar in the treatment of a depressive episode. Cognitive therapy and SSRIs in combination compared to cognitive therapy and SSRIs separately have similar effects in the treatment of major depressive episode. Cognitive therapy, either alone or in combination with SSRIs, has a better preventive effect on recurrence and relapse than treatment with SSRI alone. There are factors that influence the treatment effect of both treatment modalities. Results from the RCT’s can be transferred to clinical practice. There is no difference in patient compliance between cognitive therapy and SSRI treatment.The studies analysed presented diverging results concerning the effects of cognitive therapy and SSRIs. Our conclusion is that it’s not possible to say that one of the two treatment modalities is superior to the other in the treatment of a depressive episode, but cognitive therapy is superior in preventing relapse. There is a need for future studies addressing subgroups; Which form of treatment is best for whom. SupervisorEgil Wilhelm Martinsen, Klinikk for psykisk helse, AFF.