Efficacy of cognitive-behavioural therapy and other psychological treatments for adult depression: meta-analytic study of publication bias.
ABSTRACT It is not clear whether the effects of cognitive-behavioural therapy and other psychotherapies have been overestimated because of publication bias.
To examine indicators of publication bias in randomised controlled trials of psychotherapy for adult depression.
We examined effect sizes of 117 trials with 175 comparisons between psychotherapy and control conditions. As indicators of publication bias we examined funnel plots, calculated adjusted effect sizes after publication had been taken into account using Duval & Tweedie's procedure, and tested the symmetry of the funnel plots using the Begg & Mazumdar rank correlation test and Egger's test.
The mean effect size was 0.67, which was reduced after adjustment for publication bias to 0.42 (51 imputed studies). Both Begg & Mazumbar's test and Egger's test were highly significant (P<0.001).
The effects of psychotherapy for adult depression seem to be overestimated considerably because of publication bias.
- SourceAvailable from: Angelo Picardi
Article: Psychotherapy of Mood Disorders.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In the last decades, psychotherapy has gained increasing acceptance as a major treatment option for mood disorders. Empirically supported treatments for major depression include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), behavioural therapy and, to a lesser extent, short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. Meta-analytic evidence suggests that psychotherapy has a significant and clinically relevant, though not large, effect on chronic forms of depression. Psychotherapy with chronic patients should take into account several important differences between patients with chronic and acute depression (identification with their depressive illness, more severe social skill deficits, persistent sense of hopelessness, need of more time to adapt to better circumstances). Regarding adolescent depression, the effectiveness of IPT and CBT is empirically supported. Adolescents require appropriate modifications of treatment (developmental approach to psychotherapy, involvement of parents in therapy). The combination of psychotherapy and medication has recently attracted substantial interest; the available evidence suggests that combined treatment has small but significant advantages over each treatment modality alone, and may have a protective effect against depression relapse or recurrence. Psychobiological models overcoming a rigid brain-mind dichotomy may help the clinician give patients a clear rationale for the combination of psychological and pharmacological treatment. In recent years, evidence has accumulated regarding the effectiveness of psychological therapies (CBT, family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, psychoeducation) as an adjunct to medication in bipolar disorder. These therapies share several common elements and there is considerable overlap in their actual targets. Psychological interventions were found to be useful not only in the treatment of bipolar depressive episodes, but in all phases of the disorder.Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 11/2014; 10:140-158. DOI:10.2174/1745017901410010140
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The effects of antidepressants for treating depressive disorders have been overestimated because of selective publication of positive trials. Reanalyses that include unpublished trials have yielded reduced effect sizes. This in turn has led to claims that antidepressants have clinically insignificant advantages over placebo and that psychotherapy is therefore a better alternative. To test this, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing psychotherapy with pill placebo. Method Ten 10 studies comparing psychotherapies with pill placebo were identified. In total, 1240 patients were included in these studies. For each study, Hedges' g was calculated. Characteristics of the studies were extracted for subgroup and meta-regression analyses. RESULTS: The effect of psychotherapy compared to pill placebo at post-test was g = 0.25 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14-0.36, I 2 = 0%, 95% CI 0-58]. This effect size corresponds to a number needed to treat (NNT) of 7.14 (95% CI 5.00-12.82). The psychotherapy conditions scored 2.66 points lower on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) than the placebo conditions, and 3.20 points lower on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Some indications for publication bias were found (two missing studies). We found no significant differences between subgroups of the studies and in meta-regression analyses we found no significant association between baseline severity and effect size. CONCLUSIONS: Although there are differences between the role of placebo in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy research, psychotherapy has an effect size that is comparable to that of antidepressant medications. Whether these effects should be deemed clinically relevant remains open to debate.Psychological Medicine 04/2013; 44(4):1-11. DOI:10.1017/S0033291713000457 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) refers to a popular therapeutic approach that has been applied to a variety of problems. The goal of this review was to provide a comprehensive survey of meta-analyses examining the efficacy of CBT. We identified 269 meta-analytic studies and reviewed of those a representative sample of 106 meta-analyses examining CBT for the following problems: substance use disorder, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, depression and dysthymia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, eating disorders, insomnia, personality disorders, anger and aggression, criminal behaviors, general stress, distress due to general medical conditions, chronic pain and fatigue, distress related to pregnancy complications and female hormonal conditions. Additional meta-analytic reviews examined the efficacy of CBT for various problems in children and elderly adults. The strongest support exists for CBT of anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, bulimia, anger control problems, and general stress. Eleven studies compared response rates between CBT and other treatments or control conditions. CBT showed higher response rates than the comparison conditions in 7 of these reviews and only one review reported that CBT had lower response rates than comparison treatments. In general, the evidence-base of CBT is very strong. However, additional research is needed to examine the efficacy of CBT for randomized-controlled studies. Moreover, except for children and elderly populations, no meta-analytic studies of CBT have been reported on specific subgroups, such as ethnic minorities and low income samples.Cognitive Therapy and Research 10/2012; 36(5):427-440. DOI:10.1007/s10608-012-9476-1 · 1.70 Impact Factor