Meta-analyses of psychological treatments of depression by hom77124



Pim Cuijpers, June 2008

   In the preparation of meta-analytic studies of psychotherapy for adult depression, it
is useful for researchers to have an overview of earlier meta-analytic studies. Therefore,
we have conducted a systematic literature search to identify earlier meta-analytic studies.
In this document, we present the references of meta-analytic studies that have examined
the effects of psychological treatment for adult depression.
   We identified the meta-analyses by a systematic search in three bibliographical
databases: Pubmed, Psycinfo and Embase. We combined words indicative of
psychotherapy (behavior therapy or behaviour therapy or biofeedback or cognitive
analytic therapy or cognitive behavior therapy or cognitive behaviour therapy or
counseling or family therapy or marital therapy or psychoanalytic therapy or
psychotherapy or relaxation therapy) and depression (depression or depressive), and
limited the resulting hits to meta-analyses. We used no language restrictions. Deadline
of the searches was May 1, 2008. Our searches resulted in a total of 1092 abstracts (85
in Pubmed, 658 in Psycinfo, and 349 in Embase).
   In our bibliographical overview, we included meta-analyses which examined studies
of psychotherapy for adult depression. Inclusion criteria were: (a) statistical meta-
analyses (statistical integration of the results of primary studies); (b) of a psychological
treatment; (c) for depression in adults.
   While examining the abstracts, we found that there were two types of meta-analyses.
The first type of meta-analysis was aimed at studies that exclusively examined
psychotherapy for adult depression. So, in these meta-analyses, all included studies
examined psychotherapy for adult depression (for example, meta-analyses examining
specific types of psychotherapy for depression, or different formats of psychotherapies).
In the second type of meta-analysis, studies did not necessarily have to examine
psychotherapy for depression to be included, but a considerable number of included
studies did. For example, meta-analyses examining problem-solving therapies in general

(for any disorder, including depression, Malouff et al., 2007), or internet-therapies (for
several disorders; Spek et al., 2007) fall into this category.
   Because the first category is clearly more relevant for meta-analytic studies on
psychotherapy for adult depression, we present the results separately for the two
categories. Because more recent meta-analyses are more relevant than older meta-
analyses (which include less studies) we present the meta-analyses in chronological


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