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

ABSTRACT 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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Available from: Einar B Thorsteinsson, Aug 12, 2015
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    • "Problem-solving treatment (PST; also known as problem-solving therapy) has emerged as an effective treatment for depression [6] [7] [8]. The basis of PST is that enhancing problem-solving skills and attitudes and working to solve concrete problems in one's life can reduce depression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Problem-solving treatment (PST) offers a promising approach to the depression care; however, few PST training opportunities exist. A computer-guided, interactive media program has been developed to deliver PST electronically (ePST), directly to patients. The program is a six-session, weekly intervention modeled on an evidence-based PST protocol. Users are guided through each session by a clinician who is presented via hundreds of branching audio and video clips. Because expert clinician behaviors are modeled in the program, not only does the ePST program have the potential to deliver PST to patients but it may also serve as a training tool to teach clinicians how to deliver PST. Thirteen social workers and trainees used ePST self-instructionally and subsequently attended a day-long workshop on PST. Participants' PST knowledge level increased significantly from baseline to post-ePST (P = .001) and did not increase significantly further after attending the subsequent workshop. Additionally, attending the workshop did not significantly increase the participants' skill at performing PST beyond the use of the ePST program. Using the ePST program appears to train novices to a sufficient level of competence to begin practicing PST under supervision. This self-instructional training method could enable PST for depression to be widely disseminated, although follow-up supervision is still required.
    Depression research and treatment 11/2012; 2012:309094. DOI:10.1155/2012/309094
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    • "Indeed, treatments such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Hayes et al. 1999) explicitly encourage participants to clarify valued life directions (high level strivings) and then set specific goals which enable them to put these values into action (p. 227), whilst Problem Solving Therapy involves goal setting as a component in the step-by-step process taught to clients (Malouff et al. 2007). However experimental work suggests that broader alterations of processing style may also have an impact on related cognitive processes (Watkins and Moulds 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study explored the immediate effects of a course of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for chronically depressed participants with a history of suicidality on the specificity of important goals for the future. Participants were randomly allocated to immediate treatment with MBCT or to a waitlist condition and life goals were assessed both before and after the treatment or waiting period. Results showed that participants receiving MBCT reported significantly more specific goals post-treatment whereas those allocated to the waitlist condition showed no significant change. Similarly, participants allocated to MBCT regarded themselves as significantly more likely to achieve their important goals post-treatment, whilst again there was no significant change in the waitlist group. Increases in goal specificity were associated with parallel increases in autobiographical memory specificity whereas increases in goal likelihood were associated with reductions in depressed mood. These results suggest that MBCT may enable participants to clarify their important goals and in doing so increase their confidence in their capacity to move in valued life directions.
    Cognitive Therapy and Research 06/2012; 36(3):182-189. DOI:10.1007/s10608-010-9349-4 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    • "Though the epidemiology of substance abuse problems among older adults suggest that some of those surveyed in primary care settings would have substance dependence problems, it is unknown whether older adults in methadone maintenance clinics will prefer psychotherapy over medication. Manualized PST has been effective in reducing a variety of diagnosed physical and mental health problems (see reviews by D'Zurillia & Nezu, 1999; Malouff, Thorsteinsson, & Schutte, 2007) and is an effective treatment for both major depression and symptoms of depression (see manuals by D'Zurilla & Nezu, 2007; Hegel & Aréan, 2003). PST has been found to be an effective treatment for late-life mood disorders (Aréan et al., 1993; Bartels et al., 2002) and substance abuse (Zanis et al., 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Late-life depression is prevalent in older adults who are dependent on opiates. Depressive disorders among opiate abusers have detrimental effects on their well-being and ability to refrain from illegal drugs. There are numerous barriers to the provision of appropriate mental health care to older adults receiving methadone maintenance treatment. This article focuses on problem-solving therapy (PST) and presents evidence that PST may be a promising nonpharmacological treatment for older methadone clients with comorbid depressive disorders that can be applied within the staffing and resource limits of methadone maintenance treatment facilities. The advantages of PST relative to other behavioral therapies for this population are based on evidence that PST is less cognitively demanding for an older adult population with mood and substance use disorders. A properly modified PST for an older adult substance-dependent population with subsyndromal or diagnosed depression may be a viable option for methadone maintenance programs with limited resources.
    Journal of substance abuse treatment 10/2010; 40(2):132-41. DOI:10.1016/j.jsat.2010.09.003 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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