Mixing Apples and Oranges and Other Methodological Problems with a Meta-Analysis of Long Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Current trends in mental health practice indicate that mental health practitioners, including clinical social workers, are tending to move away from psychodynamic approaches and are favoring short-term empirically supported approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Recently, the presumption that long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) approaches lack empirical support has been challenged, however, with the publication in major peer reviewed journals of meta-analyses that are claimed to demonstrate its equality to or superiority over empirically supported short-term therapies for some conditions. The present article examines the methodology employed in one particular meta-analysis which compared LTPP to short term therapies and the studies upon which the analysis was based. We found that major methodological and statistical flaws with the meta-analysis and with the individual studies preclude drawing any conclusions regarding the efficacy of LTPP.
KeywordsMeta-analysis Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy Campbell collaboration Treatment fidelity Clinical social work
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