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Psychological Interventions: 186 Meta-Analyses Published in 2011-2015

Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D. ABPP

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PLEASE NOTE: This site includes other sets of recent meta-analytic studies:

I gathered and annotated this list of recent (i.e., published in 2011-2015) meta-analytic studies of psychological interventions to make it easier for clinicians, expert witnesses, researchers, and others to keep abreast of the evolving research:

Abbass, A., J. Town, et al. (2012). "Intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of outcome research." Harvard Review of Psychiatry 20(2): 97-108.

           Excerpt: "We found 21 studies (10 controlled, and 11 uncontrolled) reporting the effects of ISTDP [intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy] in patients with mood, anxiety, personality, and somatic disorders. Using the random-effects model, we performed meta-analyses including 13 of these studies and found pre- to post-treatment effect sizes... ranging from 0.84 (interpersonal problems) to 1.51 (depression). Post-treatment to follow-up effect sizes suggested that these gains were maintained at follow-up. Based on post-treatment effect sizes, ISTDP was significantly more efficacious than control conditions..."


Abbott, R. A., et al. (2014). "Effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness based cognitive therapy in vascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials." Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
Excerpt: "Nine articles... met eligibility criteria and were included in the final review. In total, 578 participants were enrolled across the trials, with participants presenting with prehypertension/hypertension (n=3 trials), type 1 or 2 diabetes (n=2), heart disease (n=2) and stroke (n=1). Meta-analyses, using standardised mean differences, showed evidence of reductions in stress..., depression..., and anxiety.... Effects on physical outcomes (blood pressure, albuminuria, stress hormones) were mixed.... Whilst populations with vascular disease appear to derive a range of psychological benefits from MBSR/MBCT intervention, the effects on physical parameters of disease are not yet established."


Adachi, T., et al. (2014). "A meta-analysis of hypnosis for chronic pain problems: A comparison between hypnosis, standard care, and other psychological interventions." International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 62(1): 1-28.
Excerpt: "When compared with standard care, hypnosis provided moderate treatment benefit. Hypnosis also showed a moderate superior effect as compared to other psychological interventions for a non-headache group."


Aderka, Nickerson, et al. (2012). "Sudden gains during psychological treatments of anxiety and depression: A meta-analysis." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 80(1): 93-101.

            Excerpt: "Sudden gains during the course of psychological treatment have been documented across diverse populations and interventions, and have been associated with better treatment outcome (Clerkin et al., 2008; Doane et al., 2010; M. A. R. Kelly et al., 2005; Tang & DeRubeis, 1999)….  Our findings indicate that individuals who experienced sudden gains evidenced greater reductions in symptoms from pre- to posttreatment, compared with individuals who did not experience sudden gains. We observed a medium between-group effect size...for reductions in symptoms of the disorder targeted by the treatment. Thus, sudden gains are not a transient phenomenon occurring during the course of treatment but rather represent stable and lasting changes that significantly influence treatment outcome."


Adriaanse, Vinkers, et al. (2011). "Do implementation intentions help to eat a healthy diet? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the empirical evidence." Appetite56(1): 183-193.

            Excerpt: "Implementation intentions are somewhat more effective in promoting healthy eating than in diminishing unhealthy eating, although for some studies promoting healthy eating effect sizes may have been inflated due to less than optimal control conditions."


Agosti, et al. (2012). "Do manualized psychosocial interventions help reduce relapse among alcohol-dependent adults treated with naltrexone or placebo? A meta-analysis." The American Journal on Addictions 21(6): 501-507.

            Excerpt: " In studies which used manualized psychotherapies as a platform, relapse rates were similar between naltrexone and placebo. In contrast, studies using Treatment As Usual psychotherapy as a platform demonstrated lower rates of relapse in the naltrexone group, compared to placebo group.... We conclude that CBT does not appear to offer benefits beyond those derived from study medications."


Al, Stams, et al. (2012). "A meta-analysis of intensive family preservation programs: Placement prevention and improvement of family functioning." Children and Youth Services Review, in press.

            Excerpt: "Intensive family preservation programs had a medium and positive effect on family functioning (d=.486), but were generally not effective in preventing out-of-home placement. Intensive family preservation programs were effective in preventing placement for multi-problem families, but not for families experiencing abuse and neglect. Moreover, the effect on out-of-home placement proved to be moderated by client characteristics (sex and age of the child, parent age, number of children in the family, single-parenthood, non-white ethnicity), program characteristics (caseload), study characteristics (study design and study quality), and publication characteristics (publication type, publication year and journal impact factor)."


Alvarez-Jiménez, Parker, et al. (2011). "Preventing the second episode: A systematic review and meta-analysis of psychosocial and pharmacological trials in first-episode psychosis." Schizophrenia Bulletin 37(3): 619-630.

            Excerpt: "Specialist FEP programs are effective in preventing relapse. Cognitive-based individual and family interventions may need to specifically target relapse to obtain relapse prevention benefits that extend beyond those provided by specialist FEP programs. Overall, the available data suggest that FGAs and SGAs have the potential to reduce relapse rates."


Anaya, et al. (2012). "A systematic review of cognitive remediation for schizo-affective and affective disorders." Journal of Affective Disorders 142(1-3): 13-21.

            Excerpt: "a conservative interpretation is that cognitive remediation has at least equivalent benefits in affective and schizo-affective disorder as demonstrated in schizophrenia."


Anderson, N., et al. (2015). "Faith-adapted psychological therapies for depression and anxiety: Systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Affective Disorders 176: 183-196.

            Excerpt: "All studies used cognitive or cognitive behavioural models as the basis for their faith-adapted treatment (F-CBT). We identified statistically significant benefits of using F-CBT."


Aveyard, Begh, et al. (2012). "Brief opportunistic smoking cessation interventions: A systematic review and meta-analysis to compare advice to quit and offer of assistance." Addiction 107(6): 1066-1073.

            Excerpt: "Compared to no intervention, advice to quit on medical grounds increased the frequency of quit attempts [risk ratio (RR) 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16–1.33], but not as much as behavioural support for cessation (RR 2.17, 95% CI 1.52–3.11) or offering NRT (RR 1.68, 95% CI: 1.48–1.89). In a direct comparison, offering assistance generated more quit attempts than giving advice to quit on medical grounds (RR 1.69, 95% CI: 1.24–2.31 for behavioural support and 1.39, 95% CI: 1.25–1.54 for offering medication). There was evidence that medical advice increased the success of quit attempts and inconclusive evidence that offering assistance increased their success."


Baldwin, Christian, et al. (2012). "The effects of family therapies for adolescent delinquency and substance abuse: A meta-analysis." Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 38(1): 281-304.

            Excerpt: "As a group the four family therapies [Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Functional Family Therapy, Multidimensional Family Therapy, & Multisystemic Therapy] had statistically significant, but modest effects as compared to treatment-as-usual…and as compared to alternative therapies… The effect of family therapy compared to control was larger…but was not statistically significant probably because of low power. There was insufficient evidence to determine whether the various models differed in their effectiveness relative to each other."


Baraniak & Sheffield (2011). "The efficacy of psychologically based interventions to improve anxiety, depression and quality of life in COPD: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Patient Education and Counseling 83(1): 29-36.

            Excerpt: "The studies revealed some evidence for the interventions' impact on anxiety, but, taken together interventions had limited effectiveness. The meta-analyses that were conducted revealed a small effect for anxiety only."


Barnicot, Katsakou, et al. (2011). "Treatment completion in psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder—a systematic review and meta-analysis." Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 123(5): 327-338.

            Excerpt: "Random effects meta-analyses yielded an overall completion rate of 75%…for interventions of <12 months duration, and 71%…for longer interventions. Egger's test for publication bias was significant for both analyses…. Characteristics such as treatment model and treatment setting did not explain between-study heterogeneity. In individual studies, factors predicting dropout status included commitment to change, the therapeutic relationship and impulsivity, whilst sociodemographics were consistently non-predictive…. Borderline personality disorder should no longer be associated with high rates of dropout from treatment. However, the substantial variation in completion rates between studies remains unexplained."


Barrera, et al. (2013). "A meta-analytic review of exposure in group cognitive behavioral therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder." Clinical Psychology Review 33(1): 24-32.

            Excerpt: "The overall pre–post effect size of GCBT for PTSD...suggests that GCBT is an effective intervention for individuals with PTSD. No significant differences in effect sizes were found between GCBT treatments that included in-group exposure and those that did not.... The results from this meta-analysis suggest that concerns about the potentially negative impact of group exposure may be unwarranted, and support the use of exposure-based GCBT as a promising treatment option for PTSD." 


Bender, Tripodi, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of interventions to reduce adolescent cannabis use." Research on Social Work Practice 21(2): 153-164.

            Excerpt: "Analyses of random effects models revealed similarly moderate effects for individual…and family-based treatments… Substance abuse treatments are associated with moderate reductions in cannabis use although effect sizes tended to wane with greater length of time posttreatment…. Substance abuse treatment programs should consider implementing evidence-based interventions highlighted in this meta-analysis that fit the needs and characteristics of their client base and agency setting."


Benish, Quintana, et al. (2011). "Culturally adapted psychotherapy and the legitimacy of myth: A direct-comparison meta-analysis." Journal of Counseling Psychology58(3): 279-289.

            Excerpt: "Culturally adapted psychotherapy has been reported in a previous meta-analysis as more effective for ethnic and racial minorities than a set of heterogeneous control conditions (Griner & Smith, 2006), but the relative efficacy of culturally adapted psychotherapy versus unadapted, bona fide psychotherapy remains unestablished. Furthermore, one particular form of adaptation involving the explanation of illness—known in an anthropological context as the illness myth of universal healing practices (Frank & Frank, 1993)—may be responsible for the differences in outcomes between adapted and unadapted treatments for ethnic and racial minority clients. The present multilevel-model, direct-comparison meta-analysis of published and unpublished studies confirms that culturally adapted psychotherapy is more effective than unadapted, bona fide psychotherapy by d = 0.32 for primary measures of psychological functioning."


Berdi, Koteles, et al. (2011). "Placebo effects in sport and exercise: A meta-analysis." European Journal of Mental Health 6(2): 196-212.

            Excerpt:  "In various sports (e.g. cycling, running, weightlifting) the investigation of the placebo effect on various physiological or performance measures (e.g. muscle power, heart rate, running speed) and psychological attributes (e.g. perceived exertion, post-experiment interviews) yielded significant results. Indeed, the common finding of the reviewed studies was that from the point of view of the athletes there is substantial performance enhancement as a result of different forms of placebos."


Biesheuvel-Leliefeld, K. E. M., et al. (2015). "Effectiveness of psychological interventions in preventing recurrence of depressive disorder: Meta-analysis and meta-regression." Journal of Affective Disorders 174: 400-410.
Excerpt: "Preventive psychological interventions were significantly better than treatment-as-usual in reducing the risk of relapse or recurrence…and also more successful than antidepressants."


Bray, Cowell, et al. (2011). "A systematic review and meta-analysis of health care utilization outcomes in alcohol screening and brief intervention trials." Medical Care49(3): 287-294.

            Excerpt: "Current evidence is inconclusive for SBI [screening & brief intervention] delivered in ED [emergency department] and non-ED hospital settings."


Bryant, Bonevski, et al. (2011). "A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of behavioural smoking cessation interventions in selected disadvantaged groups." Addiction 106(9): 1568-1585.

            Excerpt: "Few well-controlled trials have examined the most effective smoking cessation strategies for highly disadvantaged groups, especially among the homeless, indigenous smokers and prisoners. The use of behavioural smoking cessation interventions for some socially disadvantaged groups appears promising; however, overall findings are inconsistent."


Calati, Pedrini, et al. (2011). "Is cognitive behavioural therapy an effective complement to antidepressants in adolescents? A meta-analysis." Acta Neuropsychiatrica23(6): 263-271.

            Excerpt: "Combined treatment seems to be more effective than antidepressant alone on global functioning and general improvement in adolescents with major depressive and anxiety disorders."


Candelaria, et al. (2012). "The effects of anger management on children's social and emotional outcomes: A meta-analysis." School Psychology International 33(6): 596-614.

            Excerpt: "Results indicated...a small to moderate intervention effect in reducing children's negative emotional and behavioral outcomes including anger, aggression, and loss of self control. Many different types of anger management components were found to be effective in promoting positive outcomes."


Casement & Swanson (2012). "A meta-analysis of imagery rehearsal for post-trauma nightmares: Effects on nightmare frequency, sleep quality, and posttraumatic stress." Clinical Psychology Review 32(6): 566-574.

            Excerpt: "Results indicate that imagery rehearsal had large effects on nightmare frequency, sleep quality, and PTSD symptoms from the initial to post-treatment assessments. These effects were sustained through 6 to 12 months follow-up. Furthermore, interventions that included both imagery rehearsal and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia resulted in greater treatment-related improvement in sleep quality than imagery rehearsal alone. Combined treatment did not improve outcomes for PTSD or nightmares."


Castell, Kazantzis, et al. (2011). "Cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise for chronic fatigue syndrome: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 18(4): 311-324.

            Excerpt: "The results suggested that both CBT and GET are promising treatments for CFS, although CBT may be a more effective treatment when patients have comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms."


Cheng, H. Y., et al. (2014). "The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for stroke family caregivers and stroke survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Patient Education and Counseling.
Excerpt: "Eighteen studies (psychoeducation and social support group) were included. Pooled analysis of two individual psychoeducation programs showed a small effect on improving family functioning.... Caregivers receiving psychoeducation that aimed at equipping caregivers with the skills of problem-solving, caregiving, and stress-coping appeared to have a more positive influence on the caregivers' psychosocial wellbeing and a reduced use of healthcare resources by stroke survivors."


Chen, et al. (2012). "Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Depression and Anxiety 29(7): 545-562.

            Excerpt: "Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included.... No adverse effects were reported.... This review demonstrates some efficacy of meditative therapies in reducing anxiety symptoms, which has important clinical implications for applying meditative techniques in treating anxiety. However, most studies measured only improvement in anxiety symptoms, but not anxiety disorders as clinically diagnosed." 


Cheng & Dizon (2012). "Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 81(4): 206-216.

            Excerpt: "The results lend support to CCBT as a mildly to moderately effective self-help therapy in the short run for insomnia. CCBT-I can be an acceptable form of low-intensity treatment in the stepped care model for insomnia."


Chiesa & Serretti (2011). "Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Psychiatry Research 187(3): 441-453.

            Excerpt: "1) MBCT in adjunct to usual care was significantly better than usual care alone for reducing major depression (MD) relapses in patients with three or more prior depressive episodes (4 studies), 2) MBCT plus gradual discontinuation of maintenance ADs was associated to similar relapse rates at 1 year as compared with continuation of maintenance antidepressants (1 study), 3) the augmentation of MBCT could be useful for reducing residual depressive symptoms in patients with MD (2 studies) and for reducing anxiety symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder in remission (1 study) and in patients with some anxiety disorders (2 studies)."


Claridge, A. M. (2014). "Efficacy of systemically oriented psychotherapies in the treatment of perinatal depression: A meta-analysis." Archives of Women's Mental Health 17(1): 3-15.
Excerpt: "Mixed-effects meta-ANOVAs indicated that treatment type, participant depression severity, and method of depression assessment were significant moderators such that effect sizes were larger among individual interpersonal psychotherapy studies, clinical samples, and studies that included an independent evaluation of depression. However, relational treatments and studies with nonclinical samples were less represented in the literature, and still demonstrated small to medium positive effects. Meta-regressions revealed that effects were largest when treatments were delivered with adherence fidelity checks and over more sessions."


Cody & Drysdale (2013). "The effects of psychotherapy on reducing depression in residential aged care: A meta-analytic review." Clinical Gerontologist: The Journal of Aging and Mental Health 36(1): 46-69.

            Excerpt: "A medium effect size was found to favor psychotherapy for reducing symptoms of depression in residents.... The effect was maintained at follow-up, but was weaker and not statistically significant when interventions were compared with active control conditions in 6 trials."


Comer, et al. (2013). "Psychosocial treatment efficacy for disruptive behavior problems in very young children: A meta-analytic examination." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 52(1): 26-36.

            Excerpt: "Psychosocial treatments collectively demonstrated a large and sustained effect on early disruptive behavior problems..., with the largest effects associated with behavioral treatments..., samples with higher proportions of older and male youth, and comparisons against treatment as usual.... Across trials, effects were largest for general externalizing problems...and problems of oppositionality and noncompliance..., and were weakest, relatively speaking, for problems of impulsivity and hyperactivity.... In the absence of controlled trials evaluating psychotropic interventions, findings provide robust quantitative support that psychosocial treatments should constitute first-line treatment for early disruptive behavior problems. Against a backdrop of concerning trends in the availability and use of supported interventions, findings underscore the urgency of improving dissemination efforts for supported psychosocial treatment options, and removing systematic barriers to psychosocial care for affected youth." 


Cristea, I. A., et al. (2015). "Efficacy of cognitive bias modification interventions in anxiety and depression: Meta-analysis." British Journal of Psychiatry 206(1): 7-16.
Excerpt: "CBM may have small effects on mental health problems, but it is also very well possible that there are no significant clinically relevant effects."


Couturier, et al. (2013). "Efficacy of family-based treatment for adolescents with eating disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis." International Journal of Eating Disorders 46(1): 3-11.

            Excerpt: "Although FBT does not appear to be superior to individual treatment at end of treatment, there appear to be significant benefits at 6–12 month follow- up for adolescents suffering from eating disorders." 


Cugelman, Thelwall, et al. (2011). "Online interventions for social marketing health behavior change campaigns: A meta-analysis of psychological architectures and adherence factors." Journal of Medical Internet Research 13(1): 88-112.

            Excerpt: "The overall impact of online interventions across all studies was small but statistically significant. The findings demonstrate that online interventions have the capacity to influence voluntary behaviors, such as those routinely targeted by social marketing campaigns."


Cuijpers, Clignet, et al. (2011). "Psychological treatment of depression in inpatients: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 31(3): 353-360.

            Excerpt: "Psychological treatments had a small…but statistically significant additional effect on depression compared to usual care and structured pharmacological treatments only….  There was no indication for significant publication bias. Effects were not associated with characteristics of the population, the interventions and the design of the studies."


Cuijpers, de Beurs, et al. (2012). "The effects of psychotherapy for adult depression on suicidality and hopelessness: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Affective Disorders (in press).

            Excerpt: " At this point, there is insufficient evidence for the assumption that suicidality in depressed patients can be reduced with psychotherapy for depression. Although psychotherapy of depression may have small positive effects on suicidality, available data suggest that psychotherapy for depression cannot be considered to be a sufficient treatment."


Cuijpers, Donker, et al. (2011). "Self-guided psychological treatment for depressive symptoms: A meta-analysis." PLoS ONE 6(6).

            Excerpt: "We found evidence that self-guided psychological treatment has a small but significant effect on participants with increased levels of depressive symptomatology."


Cuijpers, Driessen, et al. (2012). "The efficacy of non-directive supportive therapy for adult depression: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 32(4): 280-291.

            Excerpt: "We found that NDST is effective in the treatment of depression in adults (g=0.58; 95% CI: 0.45–0.72). NDST was less effective than other psychological treatments (differential effect size g=−0.20; 95% CI: −0.32 to −0.08, p<0.01), but these differences were no longer present after controlling for researcher allegiance. We estimated that extra-therapeutic factors (those processes operating in waiting-list and care-as-usual controls) were responsible for 33.3% of the overall improvement, non-specific factors (the effects of NDST compared with control groups) for 49.6%, and specific factors (the effects of NDST compared with other therapies) for 17.1%. NDST has a considerable effect on symptoms of depression. Most of the effect of therapy for adult depression is realized by non-specific factors, and our results suggest that the contribution of specific effects is limited at best."


Cuijpers, Geraedts, et al. (2011). "Interpersonal psychotherapy for depression: A meta-analysis." The American Journal of Psychiatry 168(6): 581-592.

            Excerpt: "There is no doubt that IPT efficaciously treats depression, both as an independent treatment and in combination with pharmacotherapy."


Cuijpers, et al. (2012). "The efficacy of non-directive supportive therapy for adult depression: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 32(4): 280-291.

            Excerpt: "NDST has a considerable effect on symptoms of depression. Most of the effect of therapy for adult depression is realized by non-specific factors, and our results suggest that the contribution of specific effects is limited at best."


Dai, Li, et al. (2011). "Psychological treatment of depressive symptoms in Chinese elderly inpatients with significant medical comorbidity: A meta-analysis." BMC Psychiatry 11.

            Excerpt: ""Psychological treatments of depressive symptoms are effective for Chinese elderly inpatients with significant medical comorbidity which should receive more attention in medical settings."


Davis, M. L., et al. (2015). "Behavioral therapies for treatment-seeking cannabis users: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Evaluation & the Health Professions 38(1): 94-114.

            Excerpt: "Analyses indicated an effect of BTs (including contingency management, relapse prevention, and motivational interviewing, and combinations of these strategies with cognitive behavioral therapy) over control conditions (including waitlist [WL], psychological placebo, and treatment as usual) across pooled outcomes and time points….  These results suggest that the average patient receiving a behavioral intervention fared better than 66% of those in the control conditions. BT also outperformed control conditions when examining primary outcomes alone (frequency and severity of use) and secondary outcomes alone (psychosocial functioning)."


Dekovic, Slagt, et al. (2011). "Effects of early prevention programs on adult criminal offending: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 31(4): 532-544.

            Excerpt: "Children who were more at-risk and those from a lower SES benefited more. Shorter, but more intensive programs, and programs that focus on social and behavioral skills, rather than on academic skills or family support, tend to produce larger effects. Taken together, these results indicate that early prevention programs can help put children on a more positive developmental trajectory that is maintained into adulthood, but there is still no convincing evidence that they can prevent adult crime."


Del Re, Fluckiger, et al. (2012). "Therapist effects in the therapeutic alliance–outcome relationship: A restricted-maximum likelihood meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 32(7): 642-649.

            Excerpt: "Corroborating previous research, therapist variability in the alliance appears to be more important than patient variability for improved patient outcomes. This relationship remains significant even when simultaneously controlling for several potential covariates of this relationship."


Dickens, et al. (2013). "Characteristics of psychological interventions that improve depression in people with coronary heart disease: A systematic review and meta-regression." Psychosomatic Medicine 75(2): 211-221.

            Excerpt: "CBT and problem solving should be considered for inclusion in future treatment developments and randomized controlled trials. However, the effects are small in magnitude, and there is room to develop new interventions that may be more effective." 


 Dorstyn, Mathias, et al. (2011). "Efficacy of cognitive behavior therapy for the management of psychological outcomes following spinal cord injury a meta-analysis."Journal of Health Psychology 16(2): 374-391.

            Excerpt: "Large and significant group differences were noted for measures of assertiveness, coping, self-efficacy, depression and quality of life. These data suggest that CBT has a significant positive impact on short-term psychological outcomes following SCI."


Dorstyn, Mathias, et al. (2011). "Psychosocial outcomes of telephone-based counseling for adults with an acquired physical disability: A meta-analysis." Rehabilitation Psychology 56(1): 1-14.

            Excerpt: "Significant improvements in coping skills and strategies (overall d = 0.57), community integration (overall d = 0.45), and depression (overall d = 0.44) were observed immediately after telecounseling, with modest improvements in quality of life maintained at 12 months post-intervention (overall d = 0.37)…. The results suggest that telecounseling is an effective treatment modality for adults adjusting to a physical disability…"


Du, Yuan, et al. (2011). "Self-management programs for chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Patient Education and Counseling 85(3): e299-e310.

            Excerpt: "For arthritis, the findings of this study showed that self-management programs have small to moderate effects in improving pain and disability at the long-term level, but the medium-term effect for disability is not significant. For chronic back pain, there is insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of self-management programs…. Self-management is a safe, community-based and effective way for patients with arthritis to manage pain and disability. Core skills of self-management should be delivered using multiple approaches."


Duijts, Faber, et al. (2011). "Effectiveness of behavioral techniques and physical exercise on psychosocial functioning and health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients and survivors—A meta-analysis." Psycho-Oncology 20(2): 115-126.

            Excerpt: "The results indicate that behavioral techniques and physical exercise improve psychosocial functioning and HRQoL in breast cancer patients and survivors."


Durlak, Weissberg, et al. (2011). "The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions." Child Development 82(1): 405-432.

            Excerpt: "Compared to controls, SEL [social & emotional learning] participants demonstrated significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance that reflected an 11-percentile-point gain in achievement. School teaching staff successfully conducted SEL programs…. The findings add to the growing empirical evidence regarding the positive impact of SEL programs."


Dymnicki, Weissberg, et al. (2011). "Understanding how programs work to prevent overt aggressive behaviors: A meta-analysis of mediators of elementary school–based programs." Journal of School Violence 10(4): 315-337.

            Excerpt: "Three types of mediators were identified: measures of skill acquisition, social-cognitive processes, and classroom characteristics. Using MacKinnon's joint significance test to test for mediation, four measures of skill acquisition, two measures of social cognitive, and one measure of classroom characteristics were identified as significant mediating variables."


Ebert, D. D., et al. (2015). "Internet and computer-based cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression in youth: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled outcome trials." PLoS ONE 10(3).

            Excerpt: "Results provide evidence for the efficacy of cCBT in the treatment of anxiety and depressive symptoms in youth. Hence, such interventions may be a promising treatment alternative when evidence based face-to-face treatment is not feasible."



Eberth, J. and P. Sedlmeier (2012). "The effects of mindfulness meditation: A meta-analysis." Mindfulness 3(3): 174-189.

            Excerpt: "The effects differed widely across dependent variables. Moreover, we found large differences between the effect sizes reported for complete Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs vs. 'pure' meditation. MBSR seems to have its most powerful effect on attaining higher psychological well-being, whereas pure mindfulness meditation studies reported the largest effects on variables associated with the concept of mindfulness. This raises the question if some effect sizes found for MBSR might be partly inflated by effects that are not attributable to its mindfulness meditation component."


Ehring, T., et al. (2014). "Meta-analysis of psychological treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder in adult survivors of childhood abuse." Clinical Psychology Review 34(8): 645-657.

            Excerpt: "Trauma-focused treatments were more efficacious than non-trauma-focused interventions, and that treatments including individual sessions yielded larger effect sizes than pure group treatments. As a whole, the findings are in line with earlier meta-analyses showing that the best effects can be achieved with individual trauma-focused treatments."


Elliott & Bohart (2011). "Empathy." Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 48(1): 43-49.
Excerpt: "Results indicated that empathy is a moderately strong predictor of therapy outcome: mean weighted r = .31 (p < .001; 95% confidence interval: .28–.34), for 59 independent samples and 3599 clients. Although the empathy-outcome relation held equally for different theoretical orientations, there was considerable nonrandom variability. Client and observer perceptions of therapist empathy predicted outcomes better than therapist perceptions of empathic accuracy measures, and the relation was strongest for less experienced therapists."


Epton, T., et al. (2015). "The impact of self-affirmation on health-behavior change: A meta-analysis." Health Psychology 34(3): 187-196.

            Excerpt: "The results suggest that deploying self-affirmation inductions alongside persuasive health information has positive effects, promoting message acceptance, intentions to change, and subsequent behavior. Though the effects are small in magnitude, they are comparable to those obtained in meta-analyses of other health-behavior change interventions."


Erford, B. T., et al. (2014). "Counseling outcomes for youth with oppositional behavior: A meta-analysis." Journal of Counseling & Development 92(1): 13-24.
Excerpt: "Findings suggest that counseling/psychotherapy is effective in treating oppositional behavior in school-age youth at termination, but the long-term efficacy of such treatment is less stable."


Erford, Erford, et al. (2011). "Counseling outcomes from 1990 to 2008 for school-age youth with depression: A meta-analysis." Journal of Counseling & Development 89(4): 439-457.

            Excerpt: "Counseling and psychotherapy are effective for treatment of depression in school-age youth both at termination and follow-up, and in school and nonschool settings."


Erford, B. T., et al. (2015). "Meta-analysis: Counseling outcomes for youth with anxiety disorders." Journal of Mental Health Counseling 37(1): 63-89.

            Excerpt: "This meta-analysis concluded that counseling and psychotherapy generally have a small to medium effect in treating anxiety in school-aged youth…. No effects of moderating variables were evident."


Farber and Doolin (2011). "Positive Regards." Psychotherapy 48(1): 58-64.
Excerpt: "A new meta-analysis, focusing on 18 studies, yielded an aggregate effect size of .27 (CI = .16, .38; p < .000; k = 18; N = 1067), indicating that positive regard has a moderate association with psychotherapy outcomes; like many other relational factors, it is a significant but not exhaustive part of the process-outcome equation."


Feng, Chu, et al. (2012). "The effect of cognitive behavioral group therapy for depression: A meta-analysis 2000–2010." Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing9(1): 2-17.

            Excerpt:  Researchers and clinicians should take note that CBGT had a moderate effect on the level of depression and a small effect on the relapse rate of depression. The results of this study suggest that the patient should receive a course of therapy at least every 6 months."


Fetcheri, Freeman, et al. (2011). "The impact of behavioural parent training on fathers' parenting: A meta-analysis of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program."Fathering 9(3): 291-312.

            Excerpt: "The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program is widely reported as an effective, evidence-based program for parents. However, in this meta-analysis we demonstrate that there are significant differences in program effectiveness for mothers and fathers. We show that while Triple P has a large positive effect on mothers' parenting practices, it has a smaller effect on fathers' parenting practices…. It is important for parenting programs to assess their effectiveness with fathers as well as mothers."


Fluckiger, D. Re, et al. (2012). "How central is the alliance in psychotherapy? A multilevel longitudinal meta-analysis." Journal of Counseling Psychology 59(1): 10-17.

            Excerpt: "Prior meta-analyses have found a moderate but robust relationship between alliance and outcome across a broad spectrum of treatments, presenting concerns, contexts, and measurements. However, there continues to be a lively debate about the therapeutic role of the alliance, particularly in treatments that are tested using randomized clinical trial (RCT) designs….RCT, disorder-specific manual use, specificity of primary and secondary outcomes, and CBT did not moderate the alliance–outcome correlation…. None of the variables previously proposed as potential moderators or mediators of the alliance–outcome relation, alone or in combination, were found to have a mediating impact."


Flynn, Zheng, et al. (2012). "Instructing struggling older readers: A selective meta-analysis of intervention research." Learning Disabilities Research & Practice 27(1): 21-32.

            Excerpt: "Overall, the magnitude of the results for experimental reading intervention studies for students with reading disabilities in the middle school age range was small to moderate."


Forsman, Schierenbeck, et al. (2011). "Psychosocial interventions for the prevention of depression in older adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Aging and Health 23(3): 387-416.

            Excerpt: "In comparison with no-intervention controls, social activities were effective in reducing depressive symptoms, but results should be interpreted with caution due to the small number of trials. No statistically significant effect on depressive symptoms was found for physical exercise, skill training, reminiscence, or for multicomponent interventions."


Fowler & Faulkner (2011). "Interventions targeting substance abuse among women survivors of intimate partner abuse: A meta-analysis." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 41(4): 386-398.

            Excerpt: "The results show greater effects in three main areas. First, greater effect sizes exist in studies where larger numbers of women experienced current IPA. Second, studies with a lower mean age also showed greater effect sizes than studies with a higher mean age. Lastly, studies with smaller sample sizes have greater effects."


Fruhauf, et al. (2013). "Efficacy of psychological interventions for sexual dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Archives of Sexual Behavior: No Pagination Specified.

            Excerpt: "Psychological interventions were shown to especially improve symptom severity for women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and orgasmic disorder.... In conclusion, psychological interventions are effective treatment options for sexual dysfunction. However, evidence varies considerably across single disorders. Good evidence exists to date for female hypoactive sexual desire disorder and female orgasmic disorder."


Gierisch, Bastian, et al. (2012). "Smoking cessation interventions for patients with depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of General Internal Medicine 27(3): 351-360.

            Excerpt: "Few trials enrolled smokers with current depression. Most of data identified were from subgroup analyses of patients history-positive for depression. However, several promising interventions exist. Healthcare providers should consider encouraging their patients with significant depressive symptoms or depression histories to seek smoking cessation services that include NRT [nicotine replacement therapy]and behavioral mood management."


Godfrey, K. M., et al. (2015). "Mindfulness-based interventions for binge eating: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Behavioral Medicine 38(2): 348-362.

            Excerpt: "Most studies showed effects of large magnitude. Results of random effects meta-analyses supported large or medium-large effects of these interventions on binge eating..."


Goncalves & Byrne (2012). "Interventions for generalized anxiety disorder in older adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Anxiety Disorders 26(1): 1-11.

            Excerpt: "Pooled treatment effects for pharmacological (OR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.18, 0.54) and psychotherapeutic (OR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.17, 0.66) trials were similar, with findings in each case favoring active interventions over control conditions…. Older adults with GAD benefited from both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions."


Gould, et al. (2012). "Cognitive behavioral therapy for depression in older people: A meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 60(10): 1817-1830.

            Excerpt: "At the end of the intervention, CBT was significantly more effective at reducing depressive symptoms (irrespective of whether rated by clinicians or participants) than treatment as usual (TAU) or being on a waiting list but not than active controls. The same pattern of results was found for 6-month follow-up. At all other time-points, pooled effect sizes in favor of CBT were nonsignificant. Clinician-rated outcome measures resulted in larger effect sizes in favor of CBT than self-rated measures. No significant differences in efficacy were found between CBT and other treatment (pharmacotherapy and other psychotherapies). Meta-regression analyses revealed four factors that predicted effect sizes for comparisons between CBT and control conditions, including whether concurrent pharmacotherapy was allowed.... CBT for depression in older people is more effective than waiting list or TAU, but greater efficacy than active controls or other treatment has not been demonstrated."


Gross, Parisi, et al. (2012). "Memory training interventions for older adults: A meta-analysis." Aging & Mental Health 16(6): 722-734.

            Excerpt:  Among 10 distinct memory strategies identified in studies, meta-analytic methods revealed that training multiple strategies was associated with larger training gains..., although this association did not reach statistical significance after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Treatment gains among memory-trained individuals were not better after training in any particular strategy, or by the average age of participants, session length, or type of control condition."


Gu, J., et al. (2015). "How do mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies." Clinical Psychology Review 37: 1-12.

            Excerpt: "This review identified strong, consistent evidence for cognitive and emotional reactivity, moderate and consistent evidence for mindfulness, rumination, and worry, and preliminary but insufficient evidence for self-compassion and psychological flexibility as mechanisms underlying MBIs. TSSEM demonstrated evidence for mindfulness, rumination and worry as significant mediators of the effects of MBIs on mental health outcomes."


Guardia-Olmos, Esparcia, et al. (2012). "Neuropsychological rehabilitation and quality of life in patients with cognitive impairments: A meta-analysis study in Spanish-speaking populations." NeuroRehabilitation 30(1): 35-42.

            Excerpt: "The data show a statistical significant value in all variables associated with the characteristics of the intervention (Duration, type of intervention, gender, year of publication and, more important, quality of life and neuropsychological outcomes)….QOL can improve in certain conditions with neuropsychological rehabilitation, but this change is not permanent."


Guidi, Fava, et al. (2011). "Efficacy of the sequential integration of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in major depressive disorder: A preliminary meta-analysis."Psychological Medicine: A Journal of Research in Psychiatry and the Allied Sciences 41(2): 321-331.

            Excerpt: "Performing subgroup analyses, we found a trend favoring psychotherapy during continuation of antidepressant drugs compared to antidepressants or treatment as usual…. Patients randomized to psychotherapy while antidepressants were discontinued were significantly less likely to experience relapse/recurrence compared to controls…. We found evidence that the sequential integration of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy is a viable strategy for preventing relapse and recurrence in MDD. In addition, our findings suggest that discontinuation of antidepressant drugs may be feasible when psychotherapy is provided."


Hallion & Ruscio (2011). "A meta-analysis of the effect of cognitive bias modification on anxiety and depression." Psychological Bulletin 137(6): 940-958.

            Excerpt: "CBM had a medium effect on biases…that was stronger for interpretation…than for attention…biases. CBM further had a small effect on anxiety and depression…, although this effect was reliable only when symptoms were assessed after participants experienced a stressor…. When anxiety and depression were examined separately, CBM significantly modified anxiety but not depression. There was a nonsignificant trend toward a larger effect for studies including multiple training sessions. These findings are broadly consistent with cognitive theories of anxiety and depression that propose an interactive effect of cognitive biases and stressors on these symptoms. However, the small effect sizes observed here suggest that this effect may be more modest than previously believed."


Hanrahan, et al. (2013). "A meta-analysis of cognitive therapy for worry in generalized anxiety disorder." Clinical Psychology Review 33(1): 120-132.

            Excerpt: "Analysis of primary recovery data revealed that 57% of participants were classed as recovered at 12 months following CT, and CT had significantly better recovery rates than all other comparison treatments at post-treatment and 12-month follow-up. These findings support the increasing efficacy of CT as a treatment for GAD."


Hans & Hiller (2013). "Effectiveness of and dropout from outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy for adult unipolar depression: A meta-analysis of nonrandomized effectiveness studies." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 81(1): 75-88.

            Excerpt: "Although clinical practice patients show lesser improvements in depressive symptoms than RCT patients, individual and group outpatient CBT can be effectively transported to routine clinical practice. The considerable treatment dropout rate, especially in individual CBT, must be improved."


Hansen, et al. (2013). "Efficacy of psychological interventions aiming to reduce chronic nightmares: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 33(1): 146-155.

            Excerpt: "This study presents a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of psychological treatments for chronic nightmares using imaginal confrontation with nightmare contents (ICNC) or imagery rescripting and rehearsal (IRR).... One objective was to clarify whether ICNC or IRR is more important for nightmare reduction. The results indicate that a higher duration of time for ICNC is associated with greater improvements: The minutes of applied ICNC moderate the effect sizes for nightmare frequency at follow-up 2 and for nights per week with nightmares at post and follow-up 1. The percentage of applied ICNC moderates the effect sizes for nightmare frequency and nights per week with nightmares at follow-up 1. Thus, dismantling studies are necessary to draw conclusions regarding whether ICNC or IRR is the most effective in the psychological treatment of chronic nightmares." 


Hartmann, Weber, et al. (2011). "Psychological treatment for anorexia nervosa: A meta-analysis of standardized mean change." Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics80(4): 216-226.

            Excerpt: "No significant differences between effect sizes could be identified concerning treatment setting, technique or patient characteristics. If treatment time is taken into account, inpatient treatment produced a faster weight gain than outpatient treatment."


Hatzigeorgiadis, Zourbanos, et al. (2011). "Self-talk and sports performance: A meta-analysis." Perspectives on Psychological Science 6(4): 348-356.

            Excerpt: ""The analysis revealed a positive moderate effect size (ES = .48). The moderator analyses showed that self-talk interventions were more effective for tasks involving relatively fine, compared with relatively gross, motor demands, and for novel, compared with well-learned, tasks. Instructional self-talk was more effective for fine tasks than was motivational self-talk; moreover, instructional self-talk was more effective for fine tasks rather than gross tasks. Finally, interventions including self-talk training were more effective than those not including self-talk training. The results of this study establish the effectiveness of self-talk in sport, encourage the use of self-talk as a strategy to facilitate learning and enhance performance, and provide new research directions."


Haug, Nordgreen, et al. (2012). "Self-help treatment of anxiety disorders: A meta-analysis and meta-regression of effects and potential moderators." Clinical Psychology Review 32(5): 425-445.

            Excerpt: "When self-help was compared to wait-list or placebo,subgroup analyses indicated that self-help treatment format, primary anxiety diagnosis and procedures for recruitment of subjects were related to treatment outcome in bivariate analyses, but only recruitment procedures remained significant in a multiple meta-regression analysis. When self-help was compared to face-to-face treatment, a multiple meta-regression indicated that the type of comparison group, treatment format and gender were significantly related to outcome.... Self-help is effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, and should be offered as part of stepped care treatment models in community services."


Henny, Crepaz, et al. (2012). "Efficacy of HIV/STI behavioral interventions for heterosexual African American men in the United States: A meta-analysis." AIDS and Behavior 16(5): 1092-1114.

            Excerpt: "The stratified analysis for HIV sexual risk behaviors indicated that interventions were efficacious for studies specifically targeting African American men and men with incarceration history. In addition, interventions that had provision/referral of medical services, male facilitators, shorter follow-up periods, or emphasized the importance of protecting family and significant others were associated with reductions in HIV sexual risk behaviors. Meta-regression analyses indicated that the most robust intervention component is the provision/referral of medical services. Findings indicate that HIV interventions for heterosexual African American men might be more efficacious if they incorporated a range of health care services rather than HIV/STI-related services alone."


Henrich, J. F., et al. (2015). "Identifying effective techniques within psychological treatments for irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis." Journal of Psychosomatic Research 78(3): 205-222.

           Excerpt: "Cumulatively, interventions significantly improved all outcomes.... Interventions which stated a theoretical intervention target, prompted self-monitoring of symptoms and cognitions, provided tailored feedback linking symptoms and cognitions, utilized problem solving or assertiveness training and provided general support had greater effects upon symptom and well-being outcomes than interventions which did not.... "


Henry, Fuhrel-Forbis, et al. (2012). "Association between nonverbal communication during clinical interactions and outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Patient Education and Counseling 86(3): 297-315.

            Excerpt: "Greater clinician warmth, less nurse negativity, and greater clinician listening were associated with greater patient satisfaction….Communication-based interventions that target clinician warmth and listening and nurse negativity may lead to greater patient satisfaction."


Hesser, Weise, et al. (2011). "A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of cognitive–behavioral therapy for tinnitus distress." Clinical Psychology Review 31(4): 545-553.

            Excerpt: "The results suggest that CBT is an effective treatment of tinnitus distress."


Heyvaert, Maes, et al. (2012). "A multilevel meta-analysis of single-case and small-n research on interventions for reducing challenging behavior in persons with intellectual disabilities." Research in Developmental Disabilities 33(2): 766-780.

            Excerpt: "The average treatment effect was large and statistically significant. However, this effect varied significantly over the included studies and participants. Compared to the meta-analyses and reviews focusing on group-studies in this research domain, the results of the present multilevel meta-analysis of single-case and small-n intervention research provided more detailed knowledge on which specific CB and intervention components moderate the interventions' effectiveness."


Ho, F. Y.-Y., et al. (2015). "Self-help cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Sleep Medicine Reviews 19: 17-28.

            Excerpt: "Results showed that self-help CBT improved sleep, sleep-related cognitions and anxiety and depressive symptoms."


Hobbs, Kushner, et al. (2011). "Meta-analysis of supplemental treatment for depressive and anxiety disorders in patients being treated for alcohol dependence." The American Journal on Addictions 20(4): 319-329.

            Excerpt: "Approximately half of those receiving treatment for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) also suffer with an anxiety or depressive (internalizing) disorder. Because all internalizing disorders mark a poor alcohol treatment outcome, it seems reasonable to supplement AUD treatment with a psychiatric intervention when these disorders co-occur with AUD. However, this conclusion may be faulty given that the various possible interrelationships between AUD and internalizing disorders do not uniformly imply a high therapeutic yield from this approach….  These results indicate that clinical outcomes (both psychiatric and alcohol-related) could be somewhat improved by supplementing AUD treatment with psychiatric treatment for co-occurring internalizing disorder."


Hofmann, et al. (2014). "Effect of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders on Quality of Life: A Meta-Analysis." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Excerpt: "CBT for anxiety disorders is moderately effective for improving quality of life, especially in physical and psychological domains. Internet-delivered treatments are less effective than face-to-face treatments in improving quality of life."


Hofmann, et al. (2012). "The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses." Cognitive Therapy and Research 36(5): 427-440.

            Excerpt: "The strongest support exists for CBT of anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, bulimia, anger control problems, and general stress.... In general, the evidence-base of CBT is very strong. However, additional research is needed to examine the efficacy of CBT for randomized-controlled studies. Moreover, except for children and elderly populations, no meta-analytic studies of CBT have been reported on specific subgroups, such as ethnic minorities and low income samples."


Huang, A. X., et al. (2015). "A systematic review and meta-analysis of psychotherapy for late-life depression." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 23(3): 261-273.

            Excerpt: "Psychotherapy is effective for late-life depression, but the magnitude of the effect varies widely with the type of control group. Supportive therapy appears to best control for the nonspecific elements of psychotherapy and is associated with considerable change itself, but few trials have utilized it as a control."


Igna (2011). "Effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in chronic pain: A meta-analysis. Highlighting the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in chronic pain. A meta-analytic review." Erdélyi Pszichológiai Szemle 12(1): 43-57.

            Excerpt: "The results suggested that these interventions have a medium effect on reducing physical problems (eg. level of pain intensity, physical disability), psychological problems (eg. anxiety, depression) and improving the well-being."


Inagaki, M., et al. (2015). "Interventions to prevent repeat suicidal behavior in patients admitted to an emergency department for a suicide attempt: A meta-analysis." Journal of Affective Disorders 175: 66-78.

            Excerpt: "Interventions of active contact and follow-up are recommended to reduce the risk of a repeat suicide attempt at 12 months in patients admitted to EDs with a suicide attempt. However, the long-term effect was not confirmed."


Jakobsen, et al. (2012). "Effects of cognitive therapy versus interpersonal psychotherapy in patients with major depressive disorder: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials with meta-analyses and trial sequential analyses." Psychological Medicine 42(7): 1343-1357.

            Excerpt: "Meta-analysis of the four trials reporting data at cessation of treatment on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression showed no significant difference between the two interventions [mean difference −1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) −2.35 to 0.32]. Meta-analysis of the five trials reporting data at cessation of treatment on the Beck Depression Inventory showed comparable results (mean difference −1.29, 95% CI −2.73 to 0.14)."


January, Casey, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of classroom-wide interventions to build social skills: Do they work?" School Psychology Review 40(2): 242-256.

            Excerpt: "These results suggest that resources in classroom-based social skills interventions are best invested in younger students, particularly those in preschool and kindergarten."


Kersten-Alvarez, Hosman, et al. (2011). "Which preventive interventions effectively enhance depressed mothers' sensitivity? A meta-analysis." Infant Mental Health Journal 32(3): 362-376.

            Excerpt: "Our meta-analysis confirms that depressed mothers' sensitivity can be improved by preventive intervention and suggests that baby massage may be an effective intervention method to evoke short-term changes in maternal sensitivity."


Kliem, S. and C. Kröger (2013). "Prevention of chronic PTSD with early cognitive behavioral therapy. A meta-analysis using mixed-effects modeling." Behaviour Research and Therapy 51(11): 753-761.
Excerpt: "A moderate effect (ES = 0.54) was found for the main outcome, whereas ES for secondary outcomes were predominantly small (ES = 0.27-0.45). The ES for the main outcome decreased to small (ES = 0.34) from first follow-up to long-term follow-up assessment."


Kleinstauber, Witthoft, et al. (2011). "Efficacy of short-term psychotherapy for multiple medically unexplained physical symptoms: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 31(1): 146-160.

            Excerpt: "Multiple medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) are considered to be difficult and costly to treat….  Based on 27 included studies, small between-group effect sizes.. and small to large within-group effect sizes…were found for post-treatment and follow-up assessments for the different outcome variables. Significant moderator variables were identified as the type, mode, and setting of therapy, number of therapy sessions, profession of therapist, age and sex of patients, quality of diagnostic procedure, and the control of concomitant treatments."


Kodama, Saito, et al. (2012). "Effect of web-based lifestyle modification on weight control: A meta-analysis." International Journal of Obesity 36(5): 675-685.

            Excerpt: "Overall, using the Internet had a modest but significant additional weight-loss effect compared with non-Web user control groups.... In comparison with the control group, stratified analysis indicated that using the Internet as an adjunct to obesity care was effective..., but that using it as a substitute for face-to-face support was unfavorable.... An additional effect on weight control was observed when the aim of using the Internet was initial weight loss..., but was not observed when the aim was weight maintenance....  The relative effect was diminished with longer educational periods... and was studies with educational periods of 12 months or more."


Kowalik, Weller, et al. (2011). "Cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of pediatric posttraumatic stress disorder: A review and meta-analysis." Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 42(3): 405-413.

            Excerpt: "The efficacy of CBT in the treatment of pediatric PTSD was supported by the annotated bibliography and meta-analysis, contributing to best practices data. CBT addressed internalizing signs and symptoms (as measured by the CBCL) such as anxiety and depression more robustly than it did externalizing symptoms such as aggression and rule-breaking behavior, consistent with its purpose as a therapeutic intervention."


Kurtz & Richardson (2012). "Social cognitive training for schizophrenia: A meta-analytic investigation of controlled research." Schizophrenia Bulletin 38(5): 1092-1104.

            Excerpt: "Effects of social cognitive training programs on positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia were nonsignificant."


Lauche, R., et al. (2013). "A systematic review and meta-analysis of mindfulness-based stress reduction for the fibromyalgia syndrome." Journal of Psychosomatic Research 75(6): 500-510.
Excerpt: "This systematic review found that MBSR might be a useful approach for FMS patients. According to the quality of evidence only a weak recommendation for MBSR can be made at this point."


Lee, et al. (2012). "A meta-analysis of behavioral parent training for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." Research in Developmental Disabilities 33(6): 2040-2049.

            Excerpt: "Forty studies were included and generated an overall moderate effect size at post-treatment and a small effect size at follow-up. The majority of outcome categories were associated with a moderate effect size at post-treatment that decreased to a small effect size at follow-up. Parenting competence was the only outcome that had a large effect, which decreased to moderate at follow-up. The strength of the effect differed between questionnaire and observation measures. Behavioral parent training is an effective intervention for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."


Leichsenring & Rabung (2011). "Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in complex mental disorders: Update of a meta-analysis." British Journal of Psychiatry199(1): 15-22.

            Excerpt: "Results suggest that LTPP is superior to less intensive forms of psychotherapy in complex mental disorders."


Makarios & Pratt (2012). "The effectiveness of policies and programs that attempt to reduce firearm violence: A meta-analysis." Crime & Delinquency 58(2): 222-244.

            Excerpt: "In response to rising rates of firearms violence that peaked in the mid-1990s, a wide range of policy interventions have been developed in an attempt to reduce violent crimes committed with firearms….The results indicate that comprehensive community-based law enforcement initiatives have performed the best at reducing gun violence."


Maniccia, Davison, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of interventions that target children's screen time for reduction." Pediatrics 128(1): e193-e210.

            Excerpt: "Results show that interventions to reduce children's screen time have a small but statistically significant effect."


Martin, Dorken, et al. (2012). "Stopping the revolving door: A meta-analysis on the effectiveness of interventions for criminally involved individuals with major mental disorders." Law and Human Behavior 36(1): 1-12.

            Excerpt: "Results…support the effectiveness of these interventions in terms of reductions in any CJS involvement… Interventions had no significant effect on an aggregate mental health outcome…. However, when considering distinct mental health outcomes, intervention participants had significantly better functioning…and fewer symptoms…). There were no significant effects of the interventions on mental health service or medication use."


Masi, Chen, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of interventions to reduce loneliness." Personality and Social Psychology Review 15(3): 219-266.

            Excerpt: "Social and demographic trends are placing an increasing number of adults at risk for loneliness, an established risk factor for physical and mental illness. The growing costs of loneliness have led to a number of loneliness reduction interventions…. The most successful interventions addressed maladaptive social cognition. This is consistent with current theories regarding loneliness and its etiology."


McCarney, et al. (2012). "Effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapies in reducing symptoms of depression: A meta-analysis." European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling 14(3): 279-299.

            Excerpt: "We found a significant mean reduction score in current depressive symptomatology, as measured by the BDI, of 8.73 points (95% confidence interval = 6.61, 10.86). We found evidence for the effectiveness of these major-component therapies in reducing levels of active depression."


McGuire, J. F., et al. (2013). "A meta-analysis of behavior therapy for tourette syndrome." Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Excerpt: "A random effects meta-analysis found a medium to large ES for BT relative to comparison conditions. Participant mean age, average number of therapy sessions, and the percentage of participants with co-occurring attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were found to moderate treatment effects."


McLeod (2011). "Relation of the alliance with outcomes in youth psychotherapy: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 31(4): 603-616.

            Excerpt: "The child- and parent-therapist alliances were not differentially associated with outcomes. However, the alliance-outcome association did vary across theoretical (i.e., child age, problem type, referral source, and mode of treatment) and methodological (i.e., source and timing of alliance assessment; domain, technology, and source of outcome assessment; single vs. multiple informants) variables. Existing client-, therapist-, and observer-report alliance measures evidenced adequate reliability; however, substantial variability exists in how the alliance is conceptualized and measured. Though the magnitude of the ES estimate raises questions about the role that the alliance may play in youth psychotherapy, the findings also suggest that the extant literature represents a heterogeneous group of studies whose effects vary according to theoretical and methodological factors."


Michelson, et al. (2013). "Do evidence-based interventions work when tested in the "real world?" a systematic review and meta-analysis of parent management training for the treatment of child disruptive behavior." Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review: No Pagination Specified.

            Excerpt: "PMT appears to be an effective treatment for children with disruptive behavior problems."


Mitsikostas, Mantonakis, et al. (2011). "Nocebo is the enemy, not placebo. A meta-analysis of reported side effects after placebo treatment in headaches." Cephalalgia31(5): 550-561.

            Excerpt: "In studies of symptomatic treatment for migraine, the nocebo and dropout frequencies were 18.45% and 0.33%, but rose to 42.78% and 4.75% in preventative treatment studies. In trials for prevention of TTH, nocebo and dropout frequencies were 23.99% and 5.44%. For symptomatic treatment of cluster headache, the nocebo frequency was 18.67%. Nocebo is prevalent in clinical trials for primary headaches, particularly in preventive treatment studies. Dropouts due to nocebo effect may confound the interpretation of many clinical trials."


Muller & Yardley (2011). "Telephone-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare17(4): 177-184.

            Excerpt: "Meta-analysis found that telephone-delivered CBT significantly improved physical health In people with chronic Illness (d = 0.225, 95% CI = 0.105, 0.344). Moderator analyses found that less therapist contact was associated with better outcomes, and telephone-delivered CBT was more effective for chronic illnesses that are not immediately life-threatening."


Nicoll, et al. (2013). "Cognitive behavioural treatment for anger in adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities 26(1): 47-62.

            Excerpt: "The meta-analysis revealed large uncontrolled effect sizes for the treatment for anger in adults with intellectual disabilities, but is viewed with caution due to low sample sizes."


Niemeier, Hektner, et al. (2012). "Parent participation in weight-related health interventions for children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis."Preventive Medicine: An International Journal Devoted to Practice and Theory 55(1): 3-13.

            Excerpt: "This study suggests that weight-related health interventions that require parent participation more effectively reduce body mass indexes of child and adolescent participants. In addition, longer interventions that include parent participation appear to have greater success."


Oestergaard & Møldrup (2011). "Optimal duration of combined psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for patients with moderate and severe depression: A meta-analysis." Journal of Affective Disorders 131(1-3): 24-36.

            Excerpt: "Patients receiving combined treatment experienced remission more often than those receiving pharmacotherapy alone, with the highest odds ratio OR, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.58–3.55 observed at 4 months after commencing the treatment. Patients receiving pharmacotherapy alone also demonstrated a higher risk for relapse compared to those receiving combined treatment…. Pharmacotherapy enhanced with psychotherapy is associated with a higher probability of remission and a lower risk of relapse, as compared to antidepressants alone for depression treatment. Receiving psychotherapy in both the acute and continuation phases is the most effective option."


Okajima, Komada, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis on the treatment effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for primary insomnia." Sleep and Biological Rhythms9(1): 24-34.

            Excerpt: "The…results support the effectiveness of CBT-I for the treatment and prevention of relapse of primary insomnia despite the existence of a certain publication bias."


Olatunji, et al. (2013). "Cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A meta-analysis of treatment outcome and moderators." Journal of Psychiatric Research 47(1): 33-41.

            Excerpt: " CBT outperformed control conditions on primary outcome measures at post-treatment ... and at follow-up.... Subsequent analyses revealed few moderators of CBT efficacy. Neither higher pre-treatment OCD...or depression symptom severity...was significantly associated with a decrease in CBT effect size. Similarly, effect size did not vary as a function of 'type' of CBT, treatment format, treatment integrity assessment, blind assessment, age of onset, duration of symptoms, percentage of females, number of sessions, or percent comorbidity. However, active treatments showed smaller effect sizes when compared to placebo controls than when compared to waitlist controls."


Oldham, Kellett, et al. (2012). "Interventions to increase attendance at psychotherapy: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 80(5): 928-939.

            Excerpt: " Interventions had a small-to-medium effect on attendance across studies.... Interventions to reduce treatment refusal and premature termination were similarly effective....  Choice of appointment time or therapist, motivational interventions, preparation for psychotherapy, informational interventions, attendance reminders, and case management were the most effective strategies. Diagnosis also moderated effect sizes; samples with a single diagnosis benefited more from attendance interventions compared to samples with a variety of diagnoses."


Olver, Stockdale, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of predictors of offender treatment attrition and its relationship to recidivism." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 79(1): 6-21.

            Excerpt: "The clients who stand to benefit the most from treatment (i.e., high-risk, high-needs) are the least likely to complete it. Offender treatment attrition can be managed and clients can be retained through an awareness of, and attention to, key predictors of attrition and adherence to responsivity considerations."


Ougrin and Latif (2011). "Specific psychological treatment versus treatment as usual in adolescents with self-harm: Systematic review and meta-analysis." Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 32(2): 74-80.

            Excerpt: "Engaging adolescents with psychological treatment is necessary although not sufficient to achieve treatment goals."


Ozabac (2011). "Cognitive behavioural therapy for violent behaviour in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis." Children and Youth Services Review 33(10): 1989-1993.

            Excerpt: "Aggressive behaviours often co-occur with other emotional, behavioural, academic, and social relationship problems. During adolescence, these children often exhibit increased rates of school dropout, depression, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and poor peer relationships…. A meta-analysis suggested an effect size of −0.094 for reduced violence as a result of CBT treatment; this is considered to be a medium effect. The differential effects of cognitive–behavioural therapy and affective education were variable, although they were also generally in the medium range. In this meta-analytic study, CBT treatment proved less effective in reducing aggressive behaviour. This review tentatively suggests potential for using CBT to reduce violence in children and adolescents."


Panos, P. T., et al. (2014). "Meta-analysis and systematic review assessing the efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)." Research on Social Work Practice 24(2): 213-223.
Excerpt: "Combining effect measures for suicide and parasuicidal behavior (five studies total) revealed a net benefit in favor of DBT.... DBT was only marginally better than treatment as usual (TAU) in reducing attrition during treatment in five RCTs.... DBT was not significantly different from TAU in reducing depression symptoms in three RCTs..."


Pfeiffer, Heisler, et al. (2011). "Efficacy of peer support interventions for depression: A meta-analysis." General Hospital Psychiatry 33(1): 29-36.

            Excerpt: "Based on the available evidence, peer support interventions help reduce symptoms of depression."


Piet & Hougaard (2011). "The effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for prevention of relapse in recurrent major depressive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 31(6): 1032-1040.

            Excerpt: "Results of this meta-analysis indicate that MBCT is an effective intervention for relapse prevention in patients with recurrent MDD in remission, at least in case of three or more previous MDD episodes."


Piet, Würtzen, et al. (2012). "The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Adult Cancer Patients and Survivors: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, in press.

            Excerpt: "While the overall quality of existing clinical trials varies considerably, there appears to be some positive evidence from relatively high-quality RCTs to support the use of MBT for cancer patients and survivors with symptoms of anxiety and depression."


Piet, et al. (2012). "The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on symptoms of anxiety and depression in adult cancer patients and survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 80(6): 1007-1020.

            Excerpt: "While the overall quality of existing clinical trials varies considerably, there appears to be some positive evidence from relatively high-quality RCTs to support the use of MBT for cancer patients and survivors with symptoms of anxiety and depression." 


Pinquar & Forstmeier (2012). "Effects of reminiscence interventions on psychosocial outcomes: A meta-analysis." Aging & Mental Health 16(5): 541-558.

            Excerpt: "Compared to non-specific changes in control-group members, moderate improvements were observed at posttest with regard to ego-integrity...and depression....  Small effects were found on purpose in life...death preparation... mastery...mental health symptoms...positive integration..., and cognitive performance.... Most effects were maintained at follow-up."


Polanin, Espelage, et al. (2012). "A meta-analysis of school-based bulling prevention programs' effects on bystander intervention behavior." School Psychology Review 41(1): 47-65.

            Excerpt: "These results suggest that researchers and school administrators should consider implementing programs that focus on bystander intervention behavior supplementary to bullying prevention programs."


Reed, Schifferdecker, et al. (2012). "The effect of computers for weight loss: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials." Journal of General Internal Medicine 27(1): 99-108.

            Excerpt: "While the addition of computer-based technology to weight loss interventions led to statistically greater weight loss, the magnitude (<1.5 kg) was small and unsustained."


Reynolds, et al. (2012). "Effects of psychotherapy for anxiety in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review." Clinical Psychology Review 32(4): 251-262.

            Excerpt: "Psychological therapy for anxiety in children and young people was moderately effective overall, but effect sizes were small to medium when psychological therapy was compared to an active control condition. The effect size for non-CBT interventions was not significant. Parental involvement in therapy was not associated with differential effectiveness. Treatment targeted at specific anxiety disorders, individual psychotherapy, and psychotherapy with older children and adolescents had effect sizes which were larger than effect sizes for treatments targeting a range of anxiety disorders, group psychotherapy, and psychotherapy with younger children. Few studies included an effective follow-up."


Richards & Richardson (2012). "Computer-based psychological treatments for depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 32(4): 329-342.

            Excerpt: "The review and meta-analysis support the efficacy and effectiveness of computer-based psychological treatments for depression, in diverse settings and with different populations."


Riper, Spek, et al. (2011). "Effectiveness of E-self-help interventions for curbing adult problem drinking: A meta-analysis." Journal of Medical Internet Research13(2): 44-56.

            Excerpt: "E-self-help interventions without professional contact are effective in curbing adult problem drinking in high-income countries."


Roberts & Kaisera (2011). "The effectiveness of parent-implemented language interventions: A meta-analysis." American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology20(3): 180-199.

            Excerpt: "The results of this review indicate that parent-implemented language interventions are an effective approach to early language intervention for young children with language impairments."


Robertson, Robertson, et al. (2012). "Walking for depression or depressive symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Mental Health and Physical Activity 5(1): 66-75.

            Excerpt: "Walking has a statistically significant, large effect on the symptoms of depression in some populations, but the current evidence base from randomised, controlled trials is limited. Thus, while walking is a promising treatment for depression or depressive symptoms with few, if any, contraindications, further investigations to establish the frequency, intensity, duration and type(s) of effective walking interventions particularly in primary care populations would be beneficial for providing further recommendations to clinical practitioners."


Roepke, A. M. (2015). "Psychosocial interventions and posttraumatic growth: A meta-analysis." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 83(1): 129-142.

            Excerpt: "The overall controlled effect size..., using a fixed effects model, suggests that current interventions modestly increase PTG. Moderation analyses revealed little about the factors that increase interventions' effect on PTG, indicating only that interventions that administered the posttest soon after treatment tended to show larger effect sizes.... Overall, these estimates may be unreliable due to the small number of eligible studies and the varied types of interventions tested, but they suggest that active intervention can help people make the most of adversity."


Rolfsnes & Idsoe (2011). "School-based intervention programs for PTSD symptoms: A review and meta-analysis." Journal of Traumatic Stress 24(2): 155-165.

            Except: "The studies dealt with various kinds of type I and type II trauma exposure. Sixteen studies used cognitive–behavioral therapy methods; the others used play/art, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and mind-body techniques. The overall effect size for the 19 studies was d=0.68 (SD=0.41), indicating a medium-large effect in relation to reducing symptoms of PTSD… The…findings suggest that intervention provided within the school setting can be effective in helping children and adolescents following traumatic events."


Roth, M. E., et al. (2013). "A meta-analysis of behavioral interventions for adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders." Journal of Behavioral Education.
Excerpt: "Results suggested that the behavioral interventions in the areas of academic skills, adaptive skills, problem behavior, phobic avoidance, social skills, and vocational skills have medium-to-strong effect sizes."


Sanchez-Meca, Rosa-Alcazar., et al. (2011). "The psychological treatment of sexual abuse in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis." International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 11(1): 67-93.

            Excerpt: " For all of the outcome measures, the mean effect size for the treatment groups was statistically and clinically significant, whereas the control groups did not achieve a significant improvement. Significant differences among the various psychological treatment approaches were found for the global outcome measure, sexualised behaviours, and behaviour problems. In general, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural treatments combined with supportive therapy and a psychodynamic element (e.g., play therapy) showed the best results."


Sander, Patall, et al. (2012). "A meta-analysis of the effect of juvenile delinquency interventions on academic outcomes." Children and Youth Services Review, in press.

            Excerpt: " Overall, there were limited positive effects of juvenile delinquency interventions on academic outcomes. The lack of theory-driven or empirically supported academic interventions was notable. Studies with the weakest designs produced the largest effects on academic achievement, and school attendance outcomes were enhanced only for older adolescents."


Schwalbe, Gearing, et al. (2012). "A meta-analysis of experimental studies of diversion programs for juvenile offenders." Clinical Psychology Review 32(1): 26-33.

            Excerpt: "Results of this study recommend against implementation of programs limited to case management and highlight the promise of family interventions and restorative justice."


Scott-Sheldon, Huedo-Medina, et al. (2011). "Efficacy of behavioral interventions to increase condom use and reduce sexually transmitted infections: A meta-analysis, 1991 to 2010." JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 58(5): 489-498.

            Excerpt: "Behavioral interventions reduce sexual risk behavior and avert STIs and HIV."


Sedlmeier, Eberth, et al. (2012). "The Psychological Effects of Meditation: A Meta-Analysis." Psychological Bulletin, in press.

            Excerpt: "The 163 studies that allowed the calculation of effect sizes exhibited medium average effects (r = .28 for all studies and r = .27 for the n = 125 studies from reviewed journals), which cannot be explained by mere relaxation or cognitive restructuring effects. In general, results were strongest (medium to large) for changes in emotionality and relationship issues, less strong (about medium) for measures of attention, and weakest (small to medium) for more cognitive measures. However, specific findings varied across different approaches to meditation (transcendental meditation, mindfulness meditation, and other meditation techniques). Surprisingly, meditation experience only partially covaried with long-term impact on the variables examined. In general, the dependent variables used cover only some of the content areas about which predictions can be made from already existing theories about meditation; still, such predictions lack precision at present."


Seekles, et al. (2013). "Psychological treatment of anxiety in primary care: A meta-analysis." Psychological Medicine 43(2): 351-361.

            Excerpt: "We found a moderate effect size for the psychological treatment of anxiety disorders in primary care." 


Siegenthaler, Munder, et al. (2012). "Effect of preventive interventions in mentally ill parents on the mental health of the offspring: Systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 51(1): 8-17.

            Excerpt: "Interventions to prevent mental disorders and psychological symptoms in the offspring of parents with mental disorders appear to be effective."


Skotarczak, L. and G. K. Lee (2015). "Effects of parent management training programs on disruptive behavior for children with a developmental disability: A meta-analysis." Research in Developmental Disabilities 38: 272-287.

            Excerpt: "The effect of PMT on the disruptive behavior in children with a developmental disability was significant.... The moderator effects of type of PMT, delivery type and setting, and administrator level of education were also significant. The moderator effects of child age, and session number and duration were not significant in this meta-analysis..."


Sloan, Feinstein, et al. (2011). "Efficacy of group treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: A meta-analysis." Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, in press.

            Excerpt: "Group treatments are associated with significant pre- to posttreatment reduction in PTSD symptom severity (within treatment d = .71, 95% CI [.51, .91]), and result in superior treatment effects relative to a wait list comparison condition (d = .56, 95% CI [.31, .82]). However, no significant findings were obtained for group interventions relative to active treatment comparison conditions (d = .09, 95% CI [−.03, .22]). Moderator analyses also indicated that gender and type of trauma moderated treatment effects for PTSD outcome, with smaller effect sizes associated with males relative to females and combined gender samples, and smaller effect sizes for combat and child sexual assault trauma samples relative to mixed-trauma sample studies. Taken together, group treatment for trauma symptoms is better than no treatment but not better relative to comparison conditions that control for nonspecific benefits of therapy."


Sloan, Gallagher, et al. (2011). "Efficacy of telehealth treatments for posttraumatic stress-related symptoms: A meta-analysis." Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 40(2): 111-125.

            Excerpt: "Taken together, these findings support the use of telehealth treatments for individuals with PTSD-related symptoms."


Sloan, et al. (2013). "Efficacy of group treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: A meta-analysis." Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy 5(2): 176-183.

            Excerpt: "Results of a random effects model meta-analysis indicated that group treatments are associated with significant pre- to posttreatment reduction in PTSD symptom severity (within treatment d = .71, 95% CI [.51, .91]), and result in superior treatment effects relative to a wait list comparison condition (d = .56, 95% CI [.31, .82]). However, no significant findings were obtained for group interventions relative to active treatment comparison conditions (d = .09, 95% CI [−.03, .22]). Moderator analyses also indicated that gender and type of trauma moderated treatment effects for PTSD outcome, with smaller effect sizes associated with males relative to females and combined gender samples, and smaller effect sizes for combat and child sexual assault trauma samples relative to mixed-trauma sample studies. Taken together, group treatment for trauma symptoms is better than no treatment but not better relative to comparison conditions that control for nonspecific benefits of therapy."


Smit, Huibers, et al. (2012). "The effectiveness of long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy—A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Clinical Psychology Review 32(2): 81-92.

            Excerpt: "We found the evidence for the effectiveness of LTPP to be limited and at best conflicting."


Sockol, Epperson, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of treatments for perinatal depression." Clinical Psychology Review 31(5): 839-849.

            Excerpt: "Individual psychotherapy was superior to group psychotherapy with regard to changes in symptoms from pretreatment to posttreatment. Interventions including an interpersonal therapy component were found to have greater effect sizes, compared to control conditions, than interventions including a cognitive–behavioral component."


Solomon, Klein, et al. (2012). "A meta-analysis of school-wide positive behavior support: An exploratory study using single-case synthesis." Psychology in the Schools 49(2): 105-121.

            Excerpt: "Positive Behavior Support (PBS) for behavioral problems was included in the 1997 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act reauthorization, reflecting the increased implementation and strengthening empirical evidence for PBS in schools. Whereas PBS can be used reactively, its flexibility has led to a popular comprehensive school-wide model used for prevention. School-Wide Positive Behavioral Support (SWPBS) has been used across a variety of school environments and various demographics and has been evaluated using a variety of different outcome measures…. Results show promising early trends in the data across dependent variables with a need for further research in specific areas."


Spielmans, Berman, et al. (2011). "Psychotherapy versus second-generation antidepressants in the treatment of depression: A meta-analysis." Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 199(3): 142-149.

            Excerpt: "Most meta-analyses have concluded that psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy yield roughly similar efficacy in the short-term treatment of depression, with psychotherapy showing some advantage at long-term follow-up. However, a recent meta-analysis found that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors medications were superior to psychotherapy in the short-term treatment of depression. To incorporate results of several recent trials into the meta-analytic literature, we conducted a meta-analysis of trials which directly compared psychotherapy to second-generation antidepressants (SGAs). Variables potentially moderating the quality of psychotherapy or medication delivery were also examined, to allow the highest quality comparison of both types of intervention. Bona fide psychotherapies showed equivalent efficacy in the short-term and slightly better efficacy on depression rating scales at follow-up relative to SGA. Non-bona fide therapies had significantly worse short-term outcomes than medication….No significant differences emerged between treatments in terms of response or remission rates, but non-bona fide therapies had significantly lower rates of study completion than medication (odds ratio = 0.55). Bona fide psychotherapy appears as effective as SGAs in the short-term treatment of depression, and likely somewhat more effective than SGAs in the longer-term management of depressive symptoms."


Sprenger, Gerhards, et al. (2011). "Effects of psychological treatment on recurrent abdominal pain in children—A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 31(7): 1192-1197.

            Excerpt: "Recurrent abdominal pain in children has a high prevalence, thought to be about 10%. Untreated, there is a high risk that the symptoms become chronic and may lead in some cases to co-morbid mental disorders…. The results of the analysis showed that psychological therapies, mainly cognitive-behavioural, have a moderate effect on the reduction of pain in children with RAP…. The study showed that psychological therapies are effective in treating children with chronic abdominal pain."


Su & Reeve (2011). "A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of intervention programs designed to support autonomy." Educational Psychology Review 23(1): 159-188.

            Excerpt: "Though the small number of included studies warrants caution, results generally affirmed the effectiveness of autonomy-supportive training programs and identified the conditions under which future programs can be designed to be highly effective."


Sukhodolsky, D. G., et al. (2013). "Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety in children with high-functioning autism: A meta-analysis." Pediatrics 132(5): e1341-e1350.
Excerpt: "Parent ratings and clinician ratings of anxiety are sensitive to detecting treatment change with CBT for anxiety relative to waitlist and treatment-as-usual control conditions in children with high-functioning ASD. Clinical studies are needed to evaluate CBT for anxiety against attention control conditions in samples of children with ASD that are well characterized with regard to ASD diagnosis and co-occurring anxiety symptoms."


Sullivan, Tetrault, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of the efficacy of nonphysician brief interventions for unhealthy alcohol use: Implications for the patient-centered medical home." The American Journal on Addictions 20(4): 343-356.

            Excerpt: "Nonphysician brief interventions are modestly effective at reducing drinking in primary care patients with unhealthy alcohol use."


Suls, Luger, et al. (2012). "Efficacy of smoking-cessation interventions for young adults: A meta-analysis." American Journal of Preventive Medicine 42(6): 655-662.

            Excerpt: "Among young adults, any type of intervention was more effective in producing successful smoking cessation than the control. This was the case for intent-to-treat analyses as well as complete cases. When interventions were effective for the larger adult sample, they were also effective for the younger adult sample.... Although young adults tend to underutilize evidence-based cessation treatments, the current meta-analysis showed that these treatments should be as effective for young adults as they are for the general adult population. Thus, it may be useful to focus on motivating young adults to seek cessation treatment to increase utilization."


Tanner-Smith, Wilson, et al. (2012). "The comparative effectiveness of outpatient treatment for adolescent substance abuse: A meta-analysis." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

            Excerpt: "The adolescents in almost all types of treatment showed reductions in substance use. The greatest improvements were found for family therapy and mixed and group counseling. Longer treatment duration was associated with smaller improvements, but other treatment characteristics and participant characteristics had little relationship to the pre–post changes in substance use. Based on these findings family therapy is the treatment with the strongest evidence of comparative effectiveness, although most types of treatment appear to be beneficial in helping adolescents reduce their substance use."


Theeboom, T., et al. (2014). "Does coaching work? A meta-analysis on the effects of coaching on individual level outcomes in an organizational context." The Journal of Positive Psychology 9(1): 1-18.
Excerpt: "The results show that coaching has significant positive effects on all outcomes..."


Tolin, D. F., et al. (2015). "Cognitive behavioral therapy for hoarding disorder: A meta-analysis." Depression and Anxiety 32(3): 158-166.

            Excerpt: "HD symptom severity decreased significantly across studies with a large effect size. The strongest effects were seen for difficulty discarding, followed by clutter and acquiring".


Torchalla, Nosen, et al. (2012). "Integrated treatment programs for individuals with concurrent substance use disorders and trauma experiences: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 42(1): 65-77.

            Excerpt: "Both narrative review and meta-analysis indicate that IT effectively reduces trauma symptoms and substance abuse from pretreatment to longest follow-up. However, IT and nonintegrated programs appear to produce similar declines in symptoms."


Town, Diener, et al. (2012). "A meta-analysis of psychodynamic psychotherapy outcomes: Evaluating the effects of research-specific procedures." Psychotherapy 49(3): 276-290.

            Excerpt: "The magnitude of change between pretreatment and posttreatment aggregated across all studies (45 treatment samples) for overall outcome was large..., and further improvement was observed between posttreatment and an average 12.8-month follow-up.... Subgroup analyses comparing studies that used research-specific procedures and those that did not revealed that for posttreatment data no differences in treatment effects were found. However, the use of treatment manuals and fidelity checks were significantly associated with improvement between the end of treatment and follow-up assessment. Within the limitations of analyses, this data offered preliminary evidence that use of research-specific procedures does not contribute in a negative manner to posttreatment outcomes in psychodynamic psychotherapy, and their use contributes to positive differences that emerge with time. These findings, although observational in nature, make a case for reconsidering how dimensions of clinical utility and experimental control may be integrated in psychodynamic psychotherapy to enable further elucidation of principles that evidently work."


Trask, Walsh, et al. (2011). "Treatment effects for common outcomes of child sexual abuse: A current meta-analysis." Aggression and Violent Behavior 16(1): 6-19.

            Excerpt: "Results indicated that longer interventions were associated with greater treatment gains while group and individual treatments were equally effective."


Van Andel, H. W. H., et al. (2014). "Searching for effective interventions for foster children under stress: A meta-analysis." Child & Family Social Work 19(2): 149-155.
Excerpt: "Both problem behaviour in foster children and the parenting skills of foster parents improved by 30%; however, none of the interventions were specifically intended to help young children (<4 years) to cope with stress."


van Steensel, McElvany, et al. (2011). "How effective are family literacy programs? Results of a meta-analysis." Review of Educational Research 81(1): 69-96.

            Excerpt: "A small but significant mean effect emerged (d = 0.18). There was only a minor difference between comprehension- and code-related effect measures (d = 0.22 vs. d = 0.17). Moderator analyses revealed no statistically significant effects of the program, sample, and study characteristics inferred from the reviewed publications."


van't Hof, Cuijpers, et al. (2011). "Psychological treatments for depression and anxiety disorders in low- and middle- income countries: A meta-analysis." African Journal of Psychiatry 14(3): 200-207.

            Excerpt: "These results indicate that psychological treatments of depression and anxiety disorders are also effective in LAMI countries, and may encourage global dissemination of these interventions."


Veehof, Oskam, et al. (2011). "Acceptance-based interventions for the treatment of chronic pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Pain 152(3): 533-542.

            Excerpt: "The results suggest that at present mindfulness-based stress reduction program and acceptance and commitment therapy are not superior to cognitive behavioral therapy but can be good alternatives."


Vereenooghe, L. and P. E. Langdon (2013). "Psychological therapies for people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Research in Developmental Disabilities 34(11): 4085-4102.
Excerpt: "Cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) was efficacious for both anger and depression, while interventions aimed at improving interpersonal functioning were not effectual. When CBT was excluded, there was insufficient evidence regarding the efficacy of other psychological therapies, or psychological therapies intended to treat mental health problems in children and young people with IDs. Adults with IDs and concurrent mental health problems appear to benefit from psychological therapies."


Virgili, M. (2015). "Mindfulness-based interventions reduce psychological distress in working adults: A meta-analysis of intervention studies." Mindfulness 6(2): 326-337.

            Excerpt: "Overall, these findings support the use of MBIs in organisational settings for the reduction of psychological distress."

Vollestad, et al. (2012). "Mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions for anxiety disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis." British Journal of Clinical Psychology 51(3): 239-260.

            Excerpt: "[Mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions] MABIs are associated with robust and substantial reductions in symptoms of anxiety and comorbid depressive symptoms."


Vos, J., et al. (2015). "Existential therapies: A meta-analysis of their effects on psychological outcomes." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 83(1): 115-128.

            Excerpt: "Despite the small number and low quality of studies, some existential therapies appear beneficial for certain populations. We found particular support for structured interventions incorporating psychoeducation, exercises, and discussing meaning in life directly and positively with physically ill patients."


Waerden, Hoefnagels, et al. (2011). "Psychosocial preventive interventions to reduce depressive symptoms in low-SES women at risk: A meta-analysis." Journal of Affective Disorders 128(1-2): 10-23.

            Excerpt: "A number of promising programs have been developed specifically for low-SES women, a population at high risk for developing major depression. On average these programs were found to reduce the level of depressive symptoms, with more than half of the studies showing medium to large effect sizes. This indicates that considerable mental health benefits can be gained among disadvantaged women."


Wampold, Budge, et al. (2011). "Evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety versus treatment-as-usual: A meta-analysis of direct comparisons." Clinical Psychology Review 31(8): 1304-1312.

            Excerpt: "Although the effect for EBT vs. TAU was significantly greater than zero, the effect for EBT vs. TAUs that were psychotherapeutic interventions was not statistically different from zero…. Heterogeneity of TAU conditions in this meta-analysis highlight the importance of clarifying the research questions being asked when investigating and drawing conclusions from EBT–TAU comparisons. Researchers need to clarify if they are comparing an EBT to psychotherapeutic services in routine care or to minimal mental health services. Extant research on EBT versus TAU reveals that there is insufficient evidence to recommend the transportation of EBTs for anxiety and depression to routine care, particularly when the routine care involves psychotherapeutic services."


Wang, Cui, et al. (2011). "Examining the effectiveness of peer-mediated and video-modeling social skills interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis in single-case research using HLM." Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 5(1): 562-569.

            Excerpt: "Social interaction is a fundamental problem for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Various types of social skills interventions have been developed and used by clinicians to promote the social interaction in children with ASD…. The two approaches, with the average effect size of 1.27 (peer-mediated approach: mean = 1.3, 95% CL = 1.10–1.50…were found to significantly and equally improve the social performance of children with ASD. In addition, age functioned as a significant moderator in the effectiveness of the intervention. Implications of the results and limitations of this study are discussed."


Wanyonyi, Themessl-Huber, et al. (2011). "A systematic review and meta-analysis of face-to-face communication of tailored health messages: Implications for practice." Patient Education and Counseling 85(3): 348-355.

            Excerpt: "The systematic review and the meta-analysis demonstrate a significant and positive effective of face-to-face tailored messaging upon participants' health behaviors… Health practitioners should be encouraged to allot time in their work routines to discover their patients' psycho-social characteristics and felt needs in order that they can provide a tailored health message to enable the patient to adopt health-promoting regimes into their lifestyle."


Webb, Miles, et al. (2012). "Dealing With Feeling: A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Strategies Derived From the Process Model of Emotion Regulation."Psychological Bulletin, in press.

            Excerpt: "The findings revealed differences in effectiveness between ER processes: Attentional deployment had no effect on emotional outcomes…, response modulation had a small effect…, and cognitive change had a small-to-medium effect…. There were also important within-process differences. We identified 7 types of attentional deployment, 4 types of cognitive change, and 4 types of response modulation, and these distinctions had a substantial influence on effectiveness. Whereas distraction was an effective way to regulate emotions…, concentration was not…. Similarly, suppressing the expression of emotion proved effective…, but suppressing the experience of emotion or suppressing thoughts of the emotion-eliciting event did not…. Finally, reappraising the emotional response proved less effective…than reappraising the emotional stimulus…or using perspective taking."


Weisz, Kuppens, Eckshtain, Ugueto, Hawley, & Amanda Jensen-Doss. (2013). "Performance of Evidence-Based Youth Psychotherapies Compared With Usual Clinical Care:cA Multilevel Meta-analysis." JAMA Psychiatry.
Excerpt: "Our findings appear to support some of the concerns raised by critics of EBPs9- 13 and noted in the introduction. The concern that EBPs have been tested mostly among youths with subclinical psychopathology and might not fare well among youths with the more serious, complex, diagnosed disorders seen in real-world treatment settings was supported by the low and nonsignificant ES values we found for studies using exclusively diagnosed samples (d = 0.09) and studies focused on clinically referred youths (d = 0.17). In addition, more severe cases may need medication, alone or in combination with psychotherapy. The concern that EBPs may not generalize well beyond their culture of origin was supported by our finding that EBPs, which looked relatively strong within studies in North America, where most EBPs were developed (d = 0.33), showed a much-diminished and nonsignificant effect in studies from other countries (d = 0.06). This finding suggests the potential value of cultural adaptation of treatments.117 A third concern noted in the introduction--that EBPs are too rigidly manualized to permit the personalization that professionals can attempt in usual care--could not be tested directly in this meta-analysis, but the recent success of modular strategies for personalizing EBPs (eg, trial by Weisz and colleagues118) suggests that this possibility bears study in the future. One further concern was raised by our finding that EBP effects that were significant for outcomes reported by the youths (d = 0.30) and parents (d = 0.24) who participated in therapy became nonsignificant for outcomes reported by teachers (d = 0.10), who were more likely to be blinded to treatment condition. These caveats may warrant attention by those considering the costs of implementing EBPs (described in the introduction) relative to the benefits."


Wittouck, Autreve, et al. (2011). "The prevention and treatment of complicated grief: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychology Review 31(1): 69-78.

            Excerpt: "Treatment interventions can effectively diminish complicated grief symptoms. Preventive interventions, on the other hand, do not appear to be effective."


Wykes, Huddy, et al. (2011). "A meta-analysis of cognitive remediation for schizophrenia: Methodology and effect sizes." The American Journal of Psychiatry168(5): 472-485.

            Excerpt: "Cognitive remediation benefits people with schizophrenia, and when combined with psychiatric rehabilitation, this benefit generalizes to functioning, relative to rehabilitation alone. These benefits cannot be attributed to poor study methods."


Yakovenko, I., et al. (2015). "The efficacy of motivational interviewing for disordered gambling: Systematic review and meta-analysis." Addictive Behaviors 43: 72-82.

            Excerpt: "Overall, the results of this review suggest that motivational interviewing is an efficacious style of therapy for disordered gambling in the short term. Whether treatment effects are maintained over time remains unclear."


Zalta (2011). "A meta-analysis of anxiety symptom prevention with cognitive-behavioral interventions." Journal of Anxiety Disorders 25(5): 749-760.

            Excerpt: "At posttest, intervention groups demonstrated significantly greater symptom reduction compared to control groups resulting in weighted mean effect sizes…of 0.25 for general anxiety, 0.24 for disorder-specific symptoms, and 0.22 for depression after the removal of outliers. These effects appeared to diminish over 6- and 12-month follow-up. Exploratory moderator analyses indicated that individually administered media interventions were more effective than human-administered group interventions at preventing general anxiety and depression symptoms."


Zhang & Wheeler (2011). "A meta-analysis of peer-mediated interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders." Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities 46(1): 62-77.

            Excerpt: "The overall effect sizes suggest that peer-mediated interventions were highly effective. Further categorical comparisons suggest that these interventions were more effective in enhancing social responses in younger boys, when older male siblings served as interventionists, when the interventions took place in the home, when peer modeling was used, and when consideration was given to maintenance and generalization across participants, behaviors and activities, and in involving collaboration among all researchers, peers/siblings, school staff, and parents/families."


Zoogman, S., et al. (2015). "Mindfulness interventions with youth: A meta-analysis." Mindfulness 6(2): 290-302.

            Excerpt: "Mindfulness interventions with youth overall were found to be helpful and not to carry iatrogenic harm, with the primary omnibus effect size (del) in the small to moderate range (0.23, p < .0001), indicating the superiority of mindfulness treatments over active control comparison conditions. A significantly larger effect size was found on psychological symptoms compared to other dependent variable types.., and for studies drawn from clinical samples compared to non-clinical sample...


PLEASE NOTE: This site includes other sets of recent meta-analytic studies:


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