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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is More Effective Than Other Therapies: A Meta-Analytic Review

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgResearchers at the Institute of Living and Yale University School of Medicine recently conducted a quantitative review in order to determine whether cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is superior to other forms of psychotherapy. The researchers did a literature search through September 2007, including references from previous reviews. They selected English-language articles that detailed randomized controlled trials of CBT vs. another form of psychotherapy. At the end of the search, 28 articles involving 26 different studies were analyzed.

Four raters identified estimates of post-treatment and follow-up effect sizes for all of the studies, as well as variables between studies, including type of CBT and other psychotherapy approach, sample diagnosis, type of outcome measure used, and age group. They also rated the studies for methodological adequacy, including use of reliable and valid measures. The main investigators of the source articles were contacted to determine researcher allegiance.

Results showed that, at post-treatment and follow-up, CBT was superior to psychodynamic therapy, though not to interpersonal or supportive therapies. Also, while researchers’ self-reported allegiance was positively correlated with the strength of CBT’s superiority, CBT still held a significant advantage when allegiance was controlled for. CBT’s superiority was evident in patients with anxiety or depressive disorders. The researchers concluded that the results suggest that CBT should be considered “a first-line psychosocial treatment of choice…”.

To read the review, click here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20547435