Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies for common mental disorders

  • Review
  • Intervention




Over the past 40 years, short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies (STPP) for a broad range of psychological and somatic disorders have been developed and studied. Four published meta-analyses of STPP, using different methods and samples, have found conflicting results.


This review evaluated the efficacy of STPP relative to minimal treatment and non-treatment controls for adults with common mental disorders.

Search methods

We searched CCDANCTR-Studies and CCDANCTR-References on 25/4/2005, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, DARE and Biological Abstracts were also searched. We contacted triallists and checked references from papers retrieved.

Selection criteria

All randomised controlled trials (RCT) of adults with common mental disorders, in which a brief psychodynamic therapy lasting less than 40 hours in total, and provided in individual format, were included.

Data collection and analysis

Three reviewers working in pairs evaluated studies. Studies were selected only if pairs of reviewers agreed they met inclusion criteria. A third reviewer was consulted if two reviewers could not reach consensus. Data were collected and entered into Review Manager. Study quality was assessed and scored by pairs of raters. Publication bias was assessed using a funnel plot. Sensitivity analyses were also conducted.

Main results

23 studies of 1431 randomised patients with common mental disorders were included. These studies evaluated STPP for general, somatic, anxiety, and depressive symptom reduction, as well as social adjustment. Outcomes for most categories of disorder suggested significantly greater improvement in the treatment versus the control groups, which were generally maintained in medium and long term follow-up. However, only a small number of studies contributed data for each category of disorder, there was significant heterogeneity between studies, and results were not always maintained in sensitivity analyses.

Authors' conclusions

STPP shows promise, with modest to moderate, often sustained gains for a variety of patients. However, given the limited data and heterogeneity between studies, these findings should be interpreted with caution. Furthermore, variability in treatment delivery and treatment quality may limit the reliability of estimates of effect for STPP. Larger studies of higher quality and with specific diagnoses are warranted.








我們搜尋了25/4/2005的CCDANCTRStudies 與CCDANCTRReferences,也搜尋CENTRAL, MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, DARE 及Biological Abstracts。我們與試驗者聯繫,並檢視論文的參考文獻




三位評論者進行配對評估研究。只有經兩位評論三位文獻回顧者以配對的方式來評估研究. 只有兩位都同意其條件符合納入準則的研究才會被挑選進來。若兩位的意見不一致時,將會照會第三位的意見。所有的資料收集後就進入回顧處理. 計分者會評估研究的品質並計分。發表的偏差以漏斗圖來評估。同時也做敏感度分析







此翻譯計畫由臺灣國家衛生研究院(National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan)統籌。



Plain language summary

Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies for common mental disorders

Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies have been subjected to randomised controlled trials for a range of common mental disorders, including anxiety disorders, depression, stress-related physical conditions, certain behaviour disorders and interpersonal or personality problems mixed with symptom disorders. Previous meta-analyses have yielded conflicting results. This review included all RCTs of STPP for common mental disorders, and found modest treatment benefits that were generally maintained in medium and long term follow-up. However, variability in study design means that our conclusions are tentative, and need confirmation with further research.