Effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy for diagnostically heterogeneous groups: a benchmarking study

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2007 Apr;75(2):344-50. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.75.2.344.


Researchers have recently suggested that the commonalities across the emotional disorders outweigh the differences, and thus similar treatment principles could be applied in unified interventions. In this study, the authors used a benchmarking strategy to investigate the transportability of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and depression to mixed-diagnosis groups. Patients (N = 143) attended 10 2-hour sessions of group CBT plus a 1-month follow-up. Changes in anxiety and depression were indexed by effect sizes, reliable change, and clinically significant change and then benchmarked to previous efficacy and effectiveness studies. Symptoms of depression and anxiety significantly improved, and mixed-diagnosis groups compared favorably with diagnosis-specific CBT, suggesting that unified treatments are an effective, efficient, and practical method of treatment delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Benchmarking / methods*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome