Fisher, P. L. (2006). In: Worry and its psychological disorders: Theory, assessment and treatment. G. Davey & A Wells (Eds.). Hoboken, NJ, US: Wiley Publishing, pp. 359-377.
This paper explores the development of psychological treatments as an adjunct to medication in bipolar disorders. Randomized controlled treatment trials of specific therapy models, such as cognitive therapy, that tackle a spectrum of complex psychological and social problems associated with bipolar disorders are reviewed. A systematic review of the most recent treatment outcome studies suggest that adjunctive psychological therapies reduce overall rates of relapse, but are more effective for depression than for mania. There is no evidence that any particular therapy has a unique mechanism of action or any specific advantages over any other approach. Finally, it is suggested that gaps in the theory and available evidence for effectiveness need to be addressed if we are to enable clinicians to target psychological therapies towards those individuals with bipolar disorder who are most likely to benefit.
Mitte, K. (2005). Journal of Affective Disorders, 88(1), 27-45.
The efficacy of (cognitive) behavioural ((C)BT) and pharmacological therapy was investigated using meta-analytic techniques. After a comprehensive review of the literature, the results of 124 studies were included. (C)BT was more effective than a no-treatment control and a placebo control. No difference of efficacy was found when using cognitive elements compared to not using them for anxiety; for associated depressive symptoms, additional cognitive elements seems superior. Pharmacotherapy was more effective than a placebo control; there was no superiority of any drug class. Sample size was related to effect size in pharmacotherapy and publication bias was found. (C)BT was at least as effective as pharmacotherapy and depending on type of analysis even significantly more effective. There were no significant differences between (C)BT alone and a combination approach but characteristics of studies have to be considered.
Parsons, T. D. & Rizzo, A. A. (2008). Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 39(3), 250-261.
Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) is an increasingly common treatment for anxiety and specific phobias. Lacking is a quantitative meta-analysis that enhances understanding of the variability and clinical significance of anxiety reduction outcomes after VRET. Searches of electronic databases yielded 52 studies, and of these, 21 studies (300 subjects) met inclusion criteria. Although meta-analysis revealed large declines in anxiety symptoms following VRET, moderator analyses were limited due to inconsistent reporting in the VRET literature. This highlights the need for future research studies that report uniform and detailed information regarding presence, immersion, anxiety and/or phobia duration, and demographics.