The efficacy of problem solving therapy in reducing mental and physical health problems: A meta-analysis

School of Psychology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia.
Clinical Psychology Review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 02/2007; 27(1):46-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.12.005
Source: PubMed


This paper describes a meta-analysis of 31 studies that examined the efficacy of problem solving therapy (PST). The meta-analysis, encompassing 2895 participants, showed that PST is significantly more effective than no treatment (d=1.37), treatment as usual (d=0.54), and attention placebo (d=0.54), but not significantly more effective than other bona fide treatments offered as part of a study (d=0.22). Significant moderators included whether the PST included problem-orientation training, whether homework was assigned, and whether a developer of PST helped conduct the study.

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    • "The intervention also employed problem-solving therapy (PST) (Nezu, 2004) to assist the patient with prioritizing needs and identifying possible solutions. The aim of PST is not to solve problems for the patient; rather, to teach patients to address their problems and challenges by breaking them down into smaller goals and identifying actions that can be taken to solve them, with the ultimate goal of providing long-term and sustainable self-sufficiency (Enguidanos, Coulourides Kogan, Keefe, Geron, & Katz, 2011; Malouff, Thorsteinsson, & Schutte, 2007; Nezu, 2004). The social worker worked with the patient to identify problems or issues and to develop a plan to address them. "
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    ABSTRACT: High 30-day readmission rates are a major burden to the American medical system. Much attention is on transitional care to decrease financial costs and improve patient outcomes. Social workers may be uniquely qualified to improve care transitions and have not previously been used in this role. We present a case study of an older, dually eligible Latina woman who received a social work-driven transition intervention that included in-home and telephone contacts. The patient was not readmitted during the six-month study period, mitigated her high pain levels, and engaged in social outings once again. These findings suggest the value of a social worker in a transitional care role.
    Social Work in Health Care 03/2015; 54(3):177-92. DOI:10.1080/00981389.2015.1005273 · 0.62 Impact Factor
    • " of their health and nursing insurance plans , may have been superior to an attention - only control group experience often used in caregiver intervention research . Bona fide treatment alternatives such as psychosocial programs that offer potential and unique benefits to participants are recommended in problem - solving intervention re - search ( Malouff et al . , 2007 ) . Caregivers in the control condition experienced some important gains over time , although the PSI group was associated with more pronounced changes over the first 3 months ."
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Intervention trials for stroke caregivers after the early poststroke period are lacking. To address this gap, we examined the effectiveness of a problem-solving intervention (PSI) for stroke caregivers who provided care for at least 6 months and who experienced significant strain in their role. Method: One hundred twenty-two family caregivers (age = 66.2 years, 77.9% female) were randomly allocated to a PSI or control group. The PSI was composed of 2 home visits and 18 telephone calls delivered over a 3-month intensive intervention and a 9-month maintenance period. PSI and control groups received monthly information letters in addition to usual care. Primary caregiver outcomes were depressive symptoms (measure: Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale) and sense of competence (measure: Sense of Competence Questionnaire). Results: In covariance analyses, caregivers of the PSI group showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms after 3 months (p < .01, d = -.48) and after 12 months (p < .05, d = -.37), but no better sense of competence compared with the control group. Latent growth curve analyses revealed positive significant (p < .05) linear and quadratic effects of PSI on both primary outcomes. No effects, however, were found on caregiver social-problem-solving abilities. Conclusions: Although beneficial effects were observed among caregivers in the PSI group, the lack of effects on problem-solving abilities implies other characteristics of the intervention might account for these benefits. The relative intensity and therapeutic contact during the first 3 months of the intervention may be particularly helpful to caregivers of stroke survivors.
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 06/2014; 82(4). DOI:10.1037/a0036987 · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    • "Although depression and suicidal ideation co-occur in 47–69% of depressed patients, (Asnis et al., 1993, Bronisch and Wittchen, 1994; Sokero et al., 2003), it is not yet clear whether depression treatments directly decrease suicidal ideation. Through previous randomized-controlled-trials and meta-analyses , it has been established that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT; Churchill et al., 2002; Butler et al., 2006), interpersonal therapy (IPT; Cuijpers et al., 2011,2003), behavioral activation therapy (Ekers et al., 2008), problem-solving therapy (Malouff et al., 2007), supportive counseling (Cuijpers et al., 2012b), and possibly psychodynamic therapy (Driessen et al., 2010) effectively treat depression. These psychotherapies are utilized daily alongside pharmacotherapy by psychologists and psychiatrists to treat depression and suicidal symptoms associated with depression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Many well-researched treatments for depression exist. However, there is not yet enough evidence on whether these therapies, designed for the treatment of depression, are also effective for reducing suicidal ideation. This research provides valuable information for researchers, clinicians, and suicide prevention policy makers. Methods: Analysis was conducted on the Treatment for Depression Research Collaborative (TDCRP) sample, which included CBT, IPT, medication, and placebo treatment groups. Participants were included in the analysis if they reported suicidal ideation on the HRSD or BDI (score of >= 1). Results: Multivariate linear regression indicated that both IPT (b=.41, p<.05) and medication (b =.47, p<.05) yielded a significant reduction in suicide symptoms compared to placebo on the HRSD. Multivariate linear regression indicated that after adjustment for change in depression these treatment effects were no longer significant. Moderate Cohen's d effect sizes from baseline to post-test differences in suicide score by treatment group are reported. Limitations: These analyses were completed on a single suicide item from each of the measures. Moreover, the TDCRP excluded participants with moderate to severe suicidal ideation. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the specific effectiveness of IPT and medications in reducing suicidal ideation (relative to placebo), albeit largely as a consequence of their more general effects on depression. This adds to the growing body of evidence that depression treatments, specifically IPT and medication, can also reduce suicidal ideation and serves to further our understanding of the complex relationship between depression and suicide.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 06/2014; 167C:98-103. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.05.036 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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