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Article
November 1981

Does Psychotherapy Benefit Neurotic Patients?A Reanalysis of the Smith, Glass, and Miller Data

Author Affiliations

From the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(11):1203-1208. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780360019001
Abstract

• Smith, Glass, and Miller examined the benefits of psychotherapy in 475 controlled studies. Their data were reexamined, and only studies of patients coded as having neuroses, true phobias, and emotional-somatic complaints and who had sought treatment were included in the present analysis. The results of 81 controlled trials were integrated statistically using the metaanalytic technique. The findings provide further evidence on the efficacy of psychotherapy. The condition of the typical patient after treatment was better than that of 77% of untreated controls measured at the same time. The rate of relapse in the first two years was small. The behavior and psychodynamic verbal therapies appeared to be superior to other therapies. The relation between severity of illness and choice of therapy is unknown. This factor could account for some of the differential effects but does not vitiate the main finding.

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