The efficacy of problem solving therapy in reducing mental and physical health problems: a meta-analysis

Clin Psychol Rev. 2007 Jan;27(1):46-57. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.12.005. Epub 2006 Feb 9.


This paper describes a meta-analysis of 31 studies that examined the efficacy of problem solving therapy (PST). The meta-analysis, encompassing 2895 participants, showed that PST is significantly more effective than no treatment (d=1.37), treatment as usual (d=0.54), and attention placebo (d=0.54), but not significantly more effective than other bona fide treatments offered as part of a study (d=0.22). Significant moderators included whether the PST included problem-orientation training, whether homework was assigned, and whether a developer of PST helped conduct the study.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Problem Solving*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Somatoform Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome