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Improving volitional competence is crucial for the efficacy of psychosomatic therapy: A controlled clinical trial


Forstmeier, Simon; Rueddel, Heinz (2007). Improving volitional competence is crucial for the efficacy of psychosomatic therapy: A controlled clinical trial. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 76(2):89-96.

Abstract

Background: Although skills of will (volitional competences), such as self-motivation or emotion regulation, are particularly necessary for patients with psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders, it is unknown whether volitional deficits can be reduced and thereby the efficacy of psychotherapy increased. We investigated the effect of a group therapy for improving volitional competence in an inpatient rehabilitation program. Methods: In a controlled clinical trial, patients from a rehabilitation clinic participated either in the volition group therapy in addition to the standard cognitive behavioral therapy (volition group, VG) or in the standard cognitive behavioral therapy (standard group, SG). Patients were tested for volitional competence, depressive symptoms, total psychiatric symptomatology, and physical complaints prior to, at the end of inpatient therapy and after 6 months of follow-up (n = 242). Results: At the end of inpatient therapy, better improvement in volitional competence was observed in the VG than in the SG [e.g. self-motivation: effect size (ES) 0.96 vs. 0.39; ANCOVA: F(1, 209) = 16.58; p < 0.001]. Patients with greater volitional improvements had a better rehabilitation outcome. In the VG, depressive symptoms as well as total psychiatric symptomatology decreased significantly more than in the SG[ES:1.18vs.0.87,F(1,207) = 4.68,p < 0.05, and ES 1.12 vs. 0.73, F(1, 205) = 4.68, p < 0.05, respectively], but not physical complaints [ES: 0.62 vs. 0.48, F(1,207) = 1.08, n.s.]. Conclusions: Effect size increased in patients with initially low volitional competence and high motivation to participate in a volitional training. These results might lead to a more systematic assessment and training of volitional competence.

Background: Although skills of will (volitional competences), such as self-motivation or emotion regulation, are particularly necessary for patients with psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders, it is unknown whether volitional deficits can be reduced and thereby the efficacy of psychotherapy increased. We investigated the effect of a group therapy for improving volitional competence in an inpatient rehabilitation program. Methods: In a controlled clinical trial, patients from a rehabilitation clinic participated either in the volition group therapy in addition to the standard cognitive behavioral therapy (volition group, VG) or in the standard cognitive behavioral therapy (standard group, SG). Patients were tested for volitional competence, depressive symptoms, total psychiatric symptomatology, and physical complaints prior to, at the end of inpatient therapy and after 6 months of follow-up (n = 242). Results: At the end of inpatient therapy, better improvement in volitional competence was observed in the VG than in the SG [e.g. self-motivation: effect size (ES) 0.96 vs. 0.39; ANCOVA: F(1, 209) = 16.58; p < 0.001]. Patients with greater volitional improvements had a better rehabilitation outcome. In the VG, depressive symptoms as well as total psychiatric symptomatology decreased significantly more than in the SG[ES:1.18vs.0.87,F(1,207) = 4.68,p < 0.05, and ES 1.12 vs. 0.73, F(1, 205) = 4.68, p < 0.05, respectively], but not physical complaints [ES: 0.62 vs. 0.48, F(1,207) = 1.08, n.s.]. Conclusions: Effect size increased in patients with initially low volitional competence and high motivation to participate in a volitional training. These results might lead to a more systematic assessment and training of volitional competence.

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20 citations in Web of Science®
20 citations in Scopus®
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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
Date:2007
Deposited On:25 Jul 2014 09:55
Last Modified:07 Jul 2016 10:07
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:0033-3190
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000097967
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-97732

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