Meta-Analysis: Long-Term Therapy Is Effective

Article excerpt

Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy is effective for patients with complex mental disorders, a meta-analysis of 23 studies shows.

In what the authors described as the first-ever meta-analysis of the outcomes of long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, the approach "was significantly superior to shorter-term methods of psychotherapy with regard to overall outcome, target problems, and personality functioning. [It] yielded large and stable effect sizes in the treatment of patients with personality disorders, multiple mental disorders, and chronic mental disorders," reported Falk Leichsenring, D.Sc, of the University of Giessen, Germany, and Sven Rabung, Ph.D., of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.

The authors analyzed 11 prospective randomized clinical trials and 12 prospective observational studies conducted between 1984 and 2008. The subjects comprised 1,053 patients treated with long-term psychotherapy and 257 treated with other modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, cognitive-analytic therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, family therapy, supportive therapy, short-term psychodynamic therapy, and "usual" psychiatric treatment. In seven of the studies, some patients received concomitant psychotropic medication as needed. …