relational distress is a major problem.
Minami, T., Wampold, B. E., Serlin, R. C., Kircher, J. C. & Brown, G. S. (2007). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(2), 232-243.
This study estimates pretreatment-posttreatment effect size benchmarks for the treatment of major depression in adults that may be useful in evaluating psychotherapy effectiveness in clinical practice. Treatment efficacy benchmarks for major depression were derived for 3 different types of outcome measures: the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (M. A. Hamilton, 1960, 1967), the Beck Depression Inventory (A. T. Beck, 1978; A. T. Beck & R. A. Steer, 1987), and an aggregation of low reactivity-low specificity measures. These benchmarks were further refined for 3 conditions: treatment completers, intent-to-treat samples, and natural history (wait-list) conditions. The study confirmed significant effects of outcome measure reactivity and specificity on the pretreatment-posttreatment effect sizes. The authors provide practical guidance in using these benchmarks to assess treatment effectiveness in clinical settings.
Himelhoch, S., Medoff, D., R. & Oyeniyi, G. (2007). AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 21(10), 732-739.
Depressed mood is highly prevalent among HIV-infected individuals. Some but not all studies have found group psychotherapy to be efficacious in this population. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blinded, randomized controlled trials to examine efficacy of group psychotherapy treatment among HIV infected with depressive symptoms. We used PubMed, the Cochrane database, and a search of bibliographies to find controlled clinical trials with random assignment to group psychotherapy or control condition among HIV infected patients with depressive symptoms. The principal measure of effect size was the standard difference between means on validated depression inventories. We identified 8 studies that included 665 subjects: 5 used cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), 2 used supportive therapy, and 1 used coping effectiveness training. Three of the 8 studies reported significant effects. The pooled effect size from the random effects model was 0.38 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.23-0.53) representing a moderate effect. Heterogeneity of effect was not found to be significant (p = 0.69; I² = 0%). Studies reporting use of group CBT had a pooled effect size from the random effects model of 0.37 (95% CI: 0.18-0.56) and was significant. Studies reporting the use of group supportive psychotherapy had a pooled effect size from the random effects model 0.58 (95% CI: -0.05-1.22) and was nonsignificant. The results of this study suggest that group psychotherapy is efficacious in reducing depressive symptoms among, HIV-infected individuals. Of note, women were nearly absent from all studies. Future studies should be directed at addressing this disparity.
de Maat, S. M., Dekker, J., Schoevers, R. A. & de Jonghe, F. (2007). European Psychiatry, 22(1), 1-8.
Background: Reviews of the relative efficacy of psychotherapy and combined therapy (psychotherapy with pharmacotherapy) for depression have yielded contradicting conclusions. This may be explained by the clinical heterogeneity of the studies reviewed. Aims: To conduct a meta-analysis with an acceptable level of homogeneity in order to investigate the relative efficacy