One size fits all – Do certain patients benefit more from sudden gains than others? A preliminary study

Heer, Sara; Berger, Thomas; grosse Holtforth, Martin; Caspar, Franz (23 June 2017). One size fits all – Do certain patients benefit more from sudden gains than others? A preliminary study (Unpublished). In: 48th Annual Meeting, Society of Psychotherapy Research. Toronto, Canada. 21.06.-24.06.2017.

Aim: Previous research on the association between sudden gains (large non-linear symptom improvements between therapy sessions) and treatment outcome has shown inconsistent results. Furthermore, it remains unclear if a change in therapeutic alliance precedes or follows a sudden gain. The aim of this preliminary study is 1) to investigate the association between sudden gains and treatment outcome in a routine practice setting using secondary outcome measures, 2) to better understand whether certain patients are more likely to benefit from sudden gains and 3) in this regard to clarify the role of the therapeutic alliance. Methods: The sample consists of patients treated at the Outpatient Clinic of the University of Bern taking part in the IMPROVE study (, NCT02822443). For the identification of the sudden gains in the overall symptom distress (assessed with the SCL-K-9) the criteria developed by Tang and DeRubeis will be used with the first criterion replaced by the Reliable Change Index. Results: To compare sudden gainers to no-gainers ANOVAS will be conducted. Further analyses are planned to better understand under which circumstances sudden gains are experienced and which patient characteristics correlate positively with rapid symptom improvements. On the basis of qualitative video analyses preliminary results on therapeutic processes and patient changes fostering sudden gains will be presented. Discussion: We expect that within the same treatment sudden gains are more beneficial to some patients than others. Findings will be discussed with respect to their empirical significance and clinical implications.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Heer, Sara Soraya Suleika, Berger, Thomas (B), Grosse Holtforth, Martin, Caspar, Franz


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Sara Soraya Suleika Heer

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2018 14:51

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:35

Additional Information:

Titel im Programm: Are certain patients more likely to experience sudden gains? A preliminary study


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback