Predictors of change after long-term analytic group psychotherapy
In a study of long-term (mean=32.5 months) analytic group psychotherapy we explored the relationships among six predictors shown to influence outcome in short-term group studies and five outcome variables (Global Assessment of Functioning [GAF], Global Symptom Index [GSI], Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-Circumplex [IIP-C], Global Improvement, and Chief Complaints), assessed after termination of therapy. In this study, we wanted to test whether the same variables also predicted patients' status at follow-up, 1 year after termination. Bivariate correlations and multiple regression analyses were used. Initial status and treatment duration up to 2.5 years turned out to be strong positive predictors of status at both time points. Contrary to findings from many short-term studies, presence of personality disorder, high initial severity, chronicity, and less optimistic expectations had no predictive power at either time. Higher age predicted a less favourable status at follow-up in secondary exploratory analyses. The findings suggest that different patients may benefit from long-term versus short-term group psychotherapy. More studies should examine patient aptitude and the significance of the time factor (Aptitude-Treatment Interaction [ATI-effects]).
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