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 The differential effectiveness of group psychotherapy: A meta-analytic perspective.

Group Burlingame, G. M., Fuhriman, A. & Mosier, J. (2003). Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 7(1), 3-12.

The differential effectiveness of group psychotherapy was estimated in a meta-analysis of 111 experimental and quasi-experimental studies published over the past 20 years. A number of client, therapist, group, and methodological variables were examined in an attempt to determine specific as well as generic effectiveness. Three different effect sizes were computed: active versus wait list, active versus alternative treatment, and pre- to posttreatment improvement rates. The active versus wait list overall effect size (0.58) indicated that the average recipient of group treatment is better off than 72% of untreated controls. Improvement was related to group composition, setting, and diagnosis. Findings are discussed within the context of what the authors have learned about group treatment, meta-analytic studies of the extant group literature, and what remains for future research.

A meta-analytic review of the effectiveness of inpatient group psychotherapy.

Kösters, M., Burlingame, G. M., Nachtigall, C. & Strauss, B. (2006). Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 10(2), 146-16.

The effectiveness of inpatient group therapy was estimated in a meta-analysis of 24 controlled and 46 studies with pre-post-measures published between 1980 and 2004. Diagnosis, theoretical orientation and the role of the group in the particular treatment setting were used to examine differential effectiveness. Beneficial effects were found for inpatient group therapy in controlled studies (d = 0.31) as well as in the studies with pre-post-data (d = 0.59). Differences in the homogeneity of patient improvement effect sizes were found across different diagnostic categories. Furthermore, greater improvement was exhibited in mood disorder patients when compared to mixed, psychosomatic, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenic patients replicating recent findings from meta-analyses of outpatient group treatment. A comparison between controlled studies and pre-post-measure studies indicated no improvement for waitlist patients which contradicts previous reports. Implications for therapy and future research are discussed within the context of methodical considerations.  

Personality Disorders

The efficacy of various modalities of psychotherapy for personality disorders: A systematic review of the evidence and clinical recommendations.

 Verheul, R. & Herbrink, M. (2007). International Review of Psychiatry, 19(1), 25-38

The aim of this paper is to review the level of empirical evidence for four different formats and settings that are available for psychotherapy delivery, i.e., group psychotherapy, out-patient individual psychotherapy, day hospital psychotherapy, and in-patient psychotherapy. The focus is on studies which include a wide range of DSM-IV-TR Axis II personality disorders. The results show that various psychotherapeutic treatments have proven to be efficacious with respect to reducing symptomatology and personality pathology, and improving social functioning in patients with Cluster A, B, C, or not-otherwise-specified personality disorders. This is especially true for cognitive-behaviorally or psychodynamically oriented out-patient individual psychotherapies. However, some evidence indicates that this also applies to (1) long-term, psychodynamically oriented group psychotherapy, (2) short-term, psychodynamically oriented psychotherapy in a day hospital setting, and (3) various duration variants of psychodynamically oriented, in-patient psychotherapy programmes. The available evidence mostly applies to borderline, dependent, avoidant and not-otherwise-specified personality disorder, and perhaps

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