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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 123642, 8 pages
Review Article

A Review on Assessment and Treatment for Depression in Malaysia

1Department of Psychiatry, Faculty Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2School of Psychology and CBT Unit, Toowong Private Hospital, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

Received 28 January 2011; Revised 10 May 2011; Accepted 9 June 2011

Academic Editor: Harm W. J. van Marwijk

Copyright © 2011 Firdaus Mukhtar and Tian P. S. Oei. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper aimed to review the literature on depression that focused on its assessment and treatment in Malaysia. PsycINFO, Medline, local journals were searched, and 18 published articles were included in this paper. Results indicate that research on depression in Malaysia, particularly validation studies and psychotherapy research, was weak and fragmented, with minimal empirical evidence available. Pharmacotherapy still dominated the treatment for depression, and, in terms of psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was recently practiced, but only a few studies have reported on the treatment efficacy of CBT. Major limitations of studies were noted, and, consequently, the problems that are associated with the implementation and future direction of clinical and research on depression in Malaysia were discussed. In short, the contribution of empirical research on the assessment and treatment for depression remained inconsistent and fragmented and urgently in need of further empirical investigation.