Objective: The authors compared early-career psychiatrists' selection of psychological treatments for patients with mild to moderate major depressive disorder (MDD) in the US and Japan. Methods: A total of 120 early-career psychiatrists from two residency programs in the US and Japan participated in web-based surveys. The psychiatrists selected first- and second-line psychological treatments in response to two case vignettes of patients with mild and moderate MDD. Results: Eighty-one psychiatrists (68 %) returned the surveys, of whom 39 (48 %) were American and 42 (52 %) Japanese. In response to the mild MDD case, more US psychiatrists selected high-intensity psychological treatments (P < 0.001), whereas more Japanese psychiatrists selected low-intensity psychological treatments (P < 0.001). In both countries, more psychiatrists selected psychological treatment than medication. In response to the moderate MDD case, one third of the US psychiatrists selected high-intensity psychological treatments (P < 0.001), whereas half of the Japanese psychiatrists selected low-intensity psychological treatments (P = 0.010). Conclusions: Residency training, availability of psychological treatments, and cultural beliefs may shape differences in treatment selections, which in turn may impact the dissemination and implementation of psychological treatment in clinical practice across cultures.
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