Dose–effect relationship in routine outpatient psychotherapy: Does treatment duration matter?

Stulz, Niklaus; Lutz, Wolfgang; Kopta, Stephen Mark; Minami, Takuya; Saunders, Stephen M. (2013). Dose–effect relationship in routine outpatient psychotherapy: Does treatment duration matter? Journal of counseling psychology, 60(4), pp. 593-600. American Psychological Association 10.1037/a0033589

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Objective: There is an ongoing debate concerning how outcome variables change during the course of psychotherapy. We compared the dose–effect model, which posits diminishing effects of additional sessions in later treatment phases, against a model that assumes a linear and steady treatment progress through termination. Method: Session-by-session outcome data of 6,375 outpatients were analyzed, and participants were categorized according to treatment length. Linear and log-linear (i.e., negatively accelerating) latent growth curve models (LGCMs) were estimated and compared for different treatment length categories. Results: When comparing the fit of the various models, the log-linear LGCMs assuming negatively accelerating treatment progress consistently outperformed the linear models irre- spective of treatment duration. The rate of change was found to be inversely related to the length of treatment. Conclusion: As proposed by the dose–effect model, the expected course of improvement in psychotherapy appears to follow a negatively accelerated pattern of change, irrespective of the duration of the treatment. However, our results also suggest that the rate of change is not constant across various treatment lengths. As proposed by the “good enough level” model, longer treatments are associated with less rapid rates of change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Stulz, Niklaus

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

0022-0167

Publisher:

American Psychological Association

Language:

English

Submitter:

Adriana Biaggi

Date Deposited:

13 May 2014 10:25

Last Modified:

13 May 2014 10:25

Publisher DOI:

10.1037/a0033589

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/48054

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