Recent randomized controlled trials of psychological interventions in healthcare: A review of their quantity, scope, and characteristics
2013 (English)In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, ISSN 0022-3999, E-ISSN 1879-1360, Vol. 75, no 5, 401-408 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Objective: This study aimed to describe the quantity, scope, and fundamental characteristics of recently published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychological interventions.
Methods: We queried two major databases (PsycINFO and PubMeD) for primary reports published in 2010 of RCTs of psychological interventions for participants with a medical condition. We collected data on the characteristics of the trials, participants, interventions, outcomes, and reports.
Results: Of 3,696 retrieved reports 295 primary publications were included. About half (53%) of trials included participants with a mental disorder and more than half evaluated interventions based on a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) framework. A majority of trials recruited participants in North America and Europe (79%). A minority of the trials focused on children and adolescents (17%) or the elderly (8%). The median sample size of the intervention arm was n = 41. Thirty-nine percent of trials reported solely patient-reported outcomes. Only 5% of reports indicated funding from for-profit organizations. The median 2010 impact factor of the journals in which reports were published was 2.96.
Conclusion: This snapshot of the research on psychological interventions suggests that the evidence base for psychological interventions is expanding mainly for CBT interventions for adults in high-income countries. Although the restrictive inclusion criteria limit the generalizability of these results, researchers and funding agencies might be advised to strive for greater diversity regarding interventions, geographical/cultural settings and age groups. Regularly updated reviews of this research field, with gradually refined methodology and increased scope, may further inform funders and researchers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 75, no 5, 401-408 p.
behavioral interventions, psychotherapy, randomized controlled trials, systematic review, healthcare policy, evidence base
Research subject Clinical Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-206060DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.08.019ISI: 000326709500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-206060DiVA: diva2:643327