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March 4, 2009

Analyzing Effectiveness of Long-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

JAMA. 2009;301(9):930-933. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.180

To the Editor: The meta-analysis by Drs Leichsenring and Rabung1 concluded that LTPP is an effective treatment for complex mental disorders. However, there are some critical aspects of this research that were not considered.

First, 2 studies categorized as RCTs in the meta-analysis,2,3 representing more than half of the total patient count in the RCT group, had no control condition other than LTPP. These 2 studies were not designed to answer the question of whether LTTP is more effective than other (shorter) psychotherapeutic treatments; thus the studies provide no additional information compared with observational studies.

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