Context: In 2004, the American Psychiatric Association's Committee on Research on Psychiatric Treatments appointed a subcommittee to investigate the status of empirical evidence with regard to psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Objective: As a part of this effort, the committee developed a rating scale designed to assess the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychotherapy.
Data sources: A 25-item RCT of Psychotherapy Quality Rating Scale was generated by expert consensus. Interrater reliability, internal consistency, and validity testing were undertaken using 7 trained raters.
Study selection: A PubMed search was conducted to locate all RCTs of psychotherapies identified by their authors as being "psychodynamic" or "psychoanalytic" in origin and implementation.
Data extraction: A total of 69 RCTs were independently rated by 2 raters.
Data synthesis: The scale was found to have good interrater reliability (total score intraclass correlation = 0.76), internal consistency (Cronbach alpha = .87), and external validity.
Conclusions: This scale establishes a new standard for the design and execution of psychotherapy RCTs and provides a systematic empirical method for evaluating the quality of published RCTs.
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