Longer-duration psychotherapy appears more beneficial for treatment of complex mental disorders

Sep 30, 2008

Psychodynamic psychotherapy lasting for at least a year is effective and superior to shorter-term therapy for patients with complex mental disorders such as personality and chronic mental disorders, according to a meta-analysis published in the October 1 issue of JAMA.

Evidence indicates that short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy is insufficient for a considerable proportion of patients with complex mental disorders, i.e., patients with multiple or chronic mental disorders or personality disorders. Some studies suggest that long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) may be helpful for these patients, according to background information in the article. LTPP is therapy in which emphasis is placed on more interpretive or supportive interventions, depending on the patient's needs, and that involves careful attention to the therapist-patient interaction.

Falk Leichsenring, D.Sc., of the University of Giessen, Germany, and Sven Rabung, Ph.D., of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effectiveness of LTPP (lasting for at least a year, or 50 sessions) and whether it is superior to shorter psychotherapeutic treatments for complex mental disorders, including personality disorders, chronic mental disorders (defined as lasting at least a year) and multiple mental disorders. The researchers identified and included 23 studies for the meta-analysis (11 randomized controlled trials and 12 observational studies), involving a total of 1,053 patients receiving LTPP.

The authors found: "In this meta-analysis, LTPP was significantly superior to shorter-term methods of psychotherapy with regard to overall outcome, target problems, and personality functioning. Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy yielded large and stable effect sizes in the treatment of patients with personality disorders, multiple mental disorders, and chronic mental disorders. The effect sizes for overall outcome increased significantly between end of therapy and follow-up."

With regard to overall effectiveness, analysis indicated that after treatment with LTPP patients with complex mental disorders on average were better off than 96 percent of the patients in the comparison groups.

The authors add that further research should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of LTPP.

Citation: JAMA. 2008;300[13]:1551-1565.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Girls in Colombian town struck by mystery illness

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mental-health monitoring goes mobile

Jul 16, 2014

Behavioral health analytics startup Ginger.io sees smartphones as "automated diaries" containing valuable insight into the mental well-being of people with mental illnesses.

Pilots' mental health a concern amid jet mystery

Mar 23, 2014

Reinforced doors with keypad entries. Body scanners and pat-downs. Elaborate crew maneuvers when a pilot has to use the restroom. All those tactics are designed to keep dangerous people out of the cockpit. ...

Recommended for you

Girls in Colombian town struck by mystery illness

1 hour ago

A mystery illness has overwhelmed a small town in northern Colombia as scores of teenage girls have been hospitalized with symptoms that parents fear could be an adverse reaction to a popular vaccine against cervical cancer.

Oral contraceptive equal to antibiotics for acne care

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—At six months, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are comparable to systemic antibiotics for acne management, according to a review published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Ac ...

Photodynamic therapy vs. cryotherapy for actinic keratoses

10 hours ago

Photodynamic therapy (PDT, which uses topical agents and light to kill tissue) appears to better clear actinic keratoses (AKs, a common skin lesion caused by sun damage) at three months after treatment than cryotherapy (which ...

US official warns Ebola outbreak will get worse

12 hours ago

A third top doctor has died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, a government official said Wednesday, as a leading American health official warned that the outbreak sweeping West Africa would get worse before it ...

User comments : 0