Psychodynamic Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Social Anxiety Disorder: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 05/2013; 170(7). DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12081125
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE Various approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) have been shown to be effective for social anxiety disorder. For psychodynamic therapy, evidence for efficacy in this disorder is scant. The authors tested the efficacy of psychodynamic therapy and CBT in social anxiety disorder in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. METHOD In an outpatient setting, 495 patients with social anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to manual-guided CBT (N=209), manual-guided psychodynamic therapy (N=207), or a waiting list condition (N=79). Assessments were made at baseline and at end of treatment. Primary outcome measures were rates of remission and response, based on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale applied by raters blind to group assignment. Several secondary measures were assessed as well. RESULTS Remission rates in the CBT, psychodynamic therapy, and waiting list groups were 36%, 26%, and 9%, respectively. Response rates were 60%, 52%, and 15%, respectively. CBT and psychodynamic therapy were significantly superior to waiting list for both remission and response. CBT was significantly superior to psychodynamic therapy for remission but not for response. Between-group effect sizes for remission and response were small. Secondary outcome measures showed significant differences in favor of CBT for measures of social phobia and interpersonal problems, but not for depression. CONCLUSIONS CBT and psychodynamic therapy were both efficacious in treating social anxiety disorder, but there were significant differences in favor of CBT. For CBT, the response rate was comparable to rates reported in Swedish and German studies in recent years. For psychodynamic therapy, the response rate was comparable to rates reported for pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavioral group therapy.

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Available from: Viktoria Ritter, Mar 28, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Only few randomized trials comparing sustained effects of short- and long-term psychotherapies in personality functioning are available. In this study we compared the effects of two short-term therapies and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy on patients’ personality functioning during a 5-year follow-up. Methods: Altogether 326 patients of the Helsinki Psychotherapy Study, with anxiety or mood disorder, were randomly assigned to either short-term psychotherapy of about six months (solution-focused therapy (SFT, n=97) or short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (SPP, n=101)), or to long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LPP, n=128), lasting on average three years. Outcomes in personality functioning (i.e., self-concept, defense style, interpersonal problems, and level of personality organization) were assessed five to seven times using, respectively, questionnaires (SASB, DSQ, IIP) and interview (LPO) during the 5-year follow-up from randomization. Results: Personality functioning improved in all therapy groups. Both short-term therapies fared better than LPP during the first year of follow-up, by faster improvement in self-concept and decrease in immature defense style. SFT also showed more early reduction of interpersonal problems. However, LPP thereafter showed larger and more sustained benefits than SFT and SPP, through greater changes in selfconcept. Additionally, LPP outperformed SFT at the end of the follow-up in IIP and LPO, after adjustment for auxiliary treatment. No differences were noted between the short-term therapies at any measurement point. Limitations: Auxiliary treatment was used relatively widely which limits generalization to exclusive use of short- or long-term therapy. Conclusions: LPP seems to be somewhat more effective than short-term therapies in facilitating long-term changes in personality functioning.
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