Letters

Randomised controlled trials in psychiatry

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7228.186 (Published 15 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:186

Trials show that psychotherapy is effective for wide range of psychological conditions

  1. Helen Barker (Helen.barker@cwcom.net), specialist registrar in psychotherapy
  1. Red House Psychotherapy Services, Manchester M27 5FG
  2. Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, London NW3 5BA

    EDITOR—In his article on randomised controlled trials in psychiatry Andrews concludes that dynamic psychotherapy is not efficacious and that drugs and cognitive behaviour therapy are more beneficial.1 In fact, results from randomised controlled trials show that psychotherapy is an effective treatment for a wide range of psychological conditions.2 Furthermore, the results of a recent randomised controlled trial of brief psychodynamic-interpersonal therapy shows that this may be a cost effective intervention for patients who have not responded to conventional psychiatric treatment.3 In previous research this therapy was shown to be superior to supportive listening alone,4 in contrast to Andrews' claim that no trial has “been shown to be superior to talking to a mature and kindly adviser.”

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