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Some like it specific: The difference between treatment goals of anxious and depressed patients


Grosse Holtforth, Martin; Wyss, T; Schulte, D; Trachsel, T (2009). Some like it specific: The difference between treatment goals of anxious and depressed patients. Psychology and Psychotherapy, 82(3):279-290.

Abstract

Objectives:

While clinical diagnoses are the primary criteria for differential indication in psychotherapy, treatment-goal themes may provide additional information on diagnosis-specific and extra-diagnostic aspects of treatment motivation. It is hypothesized that the goals of anxiety patients focus on symptom relief, while the goals of depression patients are thematically more heterogeneous. Additionally, it is hypothesized that patients with various specific anxiety disorders can be differentiated on their treatment-goal themes.

Design:

To obtain a sufficiently large number of diagnostically non-comorbid patients, a sample of 328 patients with non-comorbid anxiety and depression patients was merged from two subsamples: 255 outpatients from a university-based clinic in Germany and 73 outpatients from a comparable clinic in German-speaking Switzerland.

Methods:

The treatment-goal themes of the 328 outpatients were coded using the Bern inventory of treatment goals.

Results:

Patients with non-comorbid diagnoses of depression or anxiety differed as hypothesized. Anxiety patients' treatment goals predominantly focused on symptom relief, while depression patients' treatment goals were thematically more heterogeneous. In addition, patients with various specific anxiety disorders differed in their treatment-goal themes.

Conclusions:

Implications for clinical assessment and treatment planning are discussed.

Objectives:

While clinical diagnoses are the primary criteria for differential indication in psychotherapy, treatment-goal themes may provide additional information on diagnosis-specific and extra-diagnostic aspects of treatment motivation. It is hypothesized that the goals of anxiety patients focus on symptom relief, while the goals of depression patients are thematically more heterogeneous. Additionally, it is hypothesized that patients with various specific anxiety disorders can be differentiated on their treatment-goal themes.

Design:

To obtain a sufficiently large number of diagnostically non-comorbid patients, a sample of 328 patients with non-comorbid anxiety and depression patients was merged from two subsamples: 255 outpatients from a university-based clinic in Germany and 73 outpatients from a comparable clinic in German-speaking Switzerland.

Methods:

The treatment-goal themes of the 328 outpatients were coded using the Bern inventory of treatment goals.

Results:

Patients with non-comorbid diagnoses of depression or anxiety differed as hypothesized. Anxiety patients' treatment goals predominantly focused on symptom relief, while depression patients' treatment goals were thematically more heterogeneous. In addition, patients with various specific anxiety disorders differed in their treatment-goal themes.

Conclusions:

Implications for clinical assessment and treatment planning are discussed.

Citations

4 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:September 2009
Deposited On:13 Jan 2010 15:36
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:40
Publisher:British Psychological Society
ISSN:1476-0835
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1348/147608308X397040
PubMed ID:19208293

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