The Relative Efficacy of Bona Fide Psychotherapies for Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Direct Comparisons

Clin Psychol Rev. 2008 Jun;28(5):746-58. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2007.10.005. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Abstract

Psychotherapy has been found to be an effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but meta-analyses have yielded inconsistent results on relative efficacy of psychotherapies in the treatment of PTSD. The present meta-analysis controlled for potential confounds in previous PTSD meta-analyses by including only bona fide psychotherapies, avoiding categorization of psychotherapy treatments, and using direct comparison studies only. The primary analysis revealed that effect sizes were homogenously distributed around zero for measures of PTSD symptomology, and for all measures of psychological functioning, indicating that there were no differences between psychotherapies. Additionally, the upper bound of the true effect size between PTSD psychotherapies was quite small. The results suggest that despite strong evidence of psychotherapy efficaciousness vis-à-vis no treatment or common factor controls, bona fide psychotherapies produce equivalent benefits for patients with PTSD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome