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Let’s Distinguish Relative and Absolute Efficacy to Move Psychotherapy Research Forward


Munder, Thomas; Flückiger, Christoph; Leichsenring, Falk; Abbass, Allan A; Hilsenroth, Mark J; Luyten, Patrick; Rabung, Sven; Steinert, Christiane; Wampold, Bruce E (2019). Let’s Distinguish Relative and Absolute Efficacy to Move Psychotherapy Research Forward. Zeitschrift für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, 65(2):178-182.

Abstract

Objective: Background regarding a recent debate between Cuijpers et al. (2019a, b) and the authors (Munder et al. 2019) about the efficacy of psychotherapy for depression is given. Method: A main reason for the discrepancy in Cuijpers et al.'s and our conclusions is discussed. Results: In our view the discrepancy is due, among other things, to a blurred distinction between questions of relative and absolute efficacy of psychotherapy. Although the efficacy of psychotherapy vis-à-vis alternative treatments may be ambiguous, there can be little doubt about the benefits of psychotherapy relative to no treatment. Conclusion: We do not think that raising fundamental concerns about the value of psychotherapy is a service to the field. We argue that moving the field forward requires a focus on how psychotherapy works and how the access to psychotherapy can be increased.

Abstract

Objective: Background regarding a recent debate between Cuijpers et al. (2019a, b) and the authors (Munder et al. 2019) about the efficacy of psychotherapy for depression is given. Method: A main reason for the discrepancy in Cuijpers et al.'s and our conclusions is discussed. Results: In our view the discrepancy is due, among other things, to a blurred distinction between questions of relative and absolute efficacy of psychotherapy. Although the efficacy of psychotherapy vis-à-vis alternative treatments may be ambiguous, there can be little doubt about the benefits of psychotherapy relative to no treatment. Conclusion: We do not think that raising fundamental concerns about the value of psychotherapy is a service to the field. We argue that moving the field forward requires a focus on how psychotherapy works and how the access to psychotherapy can be increased.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Clinical Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Language:English
Date:June 2019
Deposited On:21 Nov 2019 09:48
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:53
Publisher:Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
ISSN:1438-3608
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.13109/zptm.2019.65.2.178
PubMed ID:31154927

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