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Negative Effects of Psychological Treatments: An Exploratory Factor Analysis of the Negative Effects Questionnaire for Monitoring and Reporting Adverse and Unwanted Events
Stockholm University, Sweden.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden; University of Illinois, IL USA.
Free University of Berlin, Germany.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Karolinska Institute, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
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2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 6, e0157503- p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Research conducted during the last decades has provided increasing evidence for the use of psychological treatments for a number of psychiatric disorders and somatic complaints. However, by focusing only on the positive outcomes, less attention has been given to the potential of negative effects. Despite indications of deterioration and other adverse and unwanted events during treatment, little is known about their occurrence and characteristics. Hence, in order to facilitate research of negative effects, a new instrument for monitoring and reporting their incidence and impact was developed using a consensus among researchers, self-reports by patients, and a literature review: the Negative Effects Questionnaire. Participants were recruited via a smartphone-delivered self-help treatment for social anxiety disorder and through the media (N = 653). An exploratory factor analysis was performed, resulting in a six-factor solution with 32 items, accounting for 57.64% of the variance. The derived factors were: symptoms, quality, dependency, stigma, hopelessness, and failure. Items related to unpleasant memories, stress, and anxiety were experienced by more than one-third of the participants. Further, increased or novel symptoms, as well as lack of quality in the treatment and therapeutic relationship rendered the highest self-reported negative impact. In addition, the findings were discussed in relation to prior research and other similar instruments of adverse and unwanted events, giving credence to the items that are included. The instrument is presently available in eleven different languages and can be freely downloaded and used from

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE , 2016. Vol. 11, no 6, e0157503- p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130279DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157503ISI: 000378212800031PubMedID: 27331907OAI: diva2:950601

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare [FORTE 2013-1107]

Available from: 2016-08-01 Created: 2016-07-28 Last updated: 2016-08-22

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