Bibliotherapy for depression

Paul Glasziou*, John Bennett, Tammy Hoffman, Handbook of Non Drug Intervention (HANDI) Project Team

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

10 Citations (Scopus)


Bibliotherapy can be used to treat mild to moderate depression or subthreshold depressive symptoms, as a sole or supplementary therapy. Bibliotherapy is a form of guided self-help. The patient works through a structured book, independently from the doctor. The role of the doctor is to support and motivate the patient as they continue through the book and to help clarify any questions or concerns the patient may have. Relevant books can be purchased or often borrowed from a library, with limited cost and good accessibility from a patient perspective. Patients need to have a reading age above 12 years and have a positive attitude toward self-help. Bibliotherapy has NHMRC Level 1 evidence of efficacy and no serious adverse effects have been reported. This article forms part of a series on non-drug treatments, which summarise the indications, considerations and the evidence, and where clinicians and patients can find further information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-200
Number of pages2
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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