Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Equal Benefit for Minorities From Psychotherapy, Study Finds

Members of racial or ethnic minority groups benefit just as much from psychotherapy as do members of the white majority in Western countries, according to a report in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

Researchers from Vrije Universiteit (VU), University Amsterdam, and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research looked at 56 randomized, controlled trials among adults that compared psychotherapies with usual care or a waiting list. The most common treatments were cognitive-behavioral therapy (in 32 trials) or interpersonal psychotherapy (11 trials).

The meta-analysis could not determine patient-level differences in outcomes, but did measure the relationship between the effect size of the studies and the proportion of minority participants, wrote Pim Cuijpers, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit, and colleagues. The mean effect size was “moderate,” after multivariate metaregression analysis, they wrote.

“Our overall results suggest there is little reason to assume that psychotherapy is less effective for racial-ethnic minority populations compared with nonminority populations,” concluded the authors. “Because our meta-analysis did not give strong indications that psychological treatments work differently between specific racial-ethnic minority groups, more attention should be paid to the gap between effective mental health care and the delivery of these services.”

For information about ethnic-minority subjects in research, see the Psychiatric News article "Ethnic Diversity in MH Clinicians, Clinical Trials Improves."

(Image: Rob Marmion/


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