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Is guided self-help as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy for depression and anxiety disorders? A systematic review and meta-analysis of comparative outcome studies
Vrije University Amsterdam.
Vrije University Amsterdam.
Vrije University Amsterdam.
Chinese Academy of Science.
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2010 (English)In: PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE, ISSN 0033-2917, Vol. 40, no 12, 1943-1957 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background. Although guided self-help for depression and anxiety disorders has been examined in many studies, it is not clear whether it is equally effective as face-to-face treatments. Method. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in which the effects of guided self-help on depression and anxiety were compared directly with face-to-face psychotherapies for depression and anxiety disorders. A systematic search in bibliographical databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Cochrane) resulted in 21 studies with 810 participants. Results. The overall effect size indicating the difference between guided self-help and face-to-face psychotherapy at post-test was d=-0.02, in favour of guided self-help. At follow-up (up to 1 year) no significant difference was found either. No significant difference was found between the drop-out rates in the two treatments formats. Conclusions. It seems safe to conclude that guided self-help and face-to-face treatments can have comparable effects. It is time to start thinking about implementation in routine care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press , 2010. Vol. 40, no 12, 1943-1957 p.
Keyword [en]
Bibliotherapy, depression, guided self-help, meta-analysis
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62147DOI: 10.1017/S0033291710000772ISI: 000283800600002OAI: diva2:371290
Available from: 2010-11-19 Created: 2010-11-19 Last updated: 2014-11-28

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Andersson, Gerhard
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Clinical and Social PsychologyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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ReferencesLink to record
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