Psychotherapy may improve course of medical disorders
In the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics a meta-analysis indicates how short-term dynamic psychotherapy can be useful in the context of a medical condition.
Disorders of somatic symptoms are common, disabling and costly. Individual always short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) have shown promising results. However, the efficacy of STPP for disorders of somatic symptoms has not been reviewed. A group of Canadian researchers conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials and controlled before and after studies. The results include psychological symptoms, physical symptoms, social function of work, use of health care and continued treatment. A total of 23 studies met the inclusion criteria covered a broad range of somatic disorders. Thirteen were RCTs and 10 were case series with pre-post evaluation of results.
Of the included studies, 21/23 (91.3%), 11/12 (91.6%), 16/19 (76.2%) and 7 / 9 (77.8%) reported significant effects or potential physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, social function of work and health care utilization, respectively. Meta-analysis was possible for 14 studies and found significant effects on physical symptoms, psychiatric symptoms and social adjustment have remained on Long-term follow-up. Random effects modeling mitigated some of these relationships. There was a 54% treatment retention higher in the TS group compared to controls.
At the end of investigations, the authors concluded that STPP can be effective for a wide range of medical and physical conditions, highlighting the role of patients’ emotional adjustment in overall health. Future research should include quality of randomized clinical efficacy studies with health care use and costs.
More information: Abbass, A.; Kisely, S., Kroenke, K. Short-Term Psychodynamic psychotherapy of somatic complaints. Psychother Psychosom 2009, 78:265-274
Provided by Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
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