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Caligor, E. Hilsenroth, M.J. Devlin, M. Rutherford, B.R. Terry, M. Roose, S.P. (2012). Will Patients Accept Randomization to Psychoanalysis? A Feasibility Study. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 60(2):337-360.

(2012). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 60(2):337-360

Will Patients Accept Randomization to Psychoanalysis? A Feasibility Study

Eve Caligor, Mark J. Hilsenroth, Michael Devlin, Bret R. Rutherford, Madeleine Terry and Steven P. Roose

The feasibility of using a randomized design in a psychoanalytic outcome study was evaluated. Our hypothesis was that it would be feasible to randomize patients to psychoanalysis three or four times weekly on the couch for five years, supportive expressive therapy once or twice weekly for up to forty sessions, and cognitive behavior therapy once or twice weekly for up to forty sessions. Successful randomization was defined as a 30% recruitment rate among eligible patients. Recruitment began in September 2009 and closed in April 2010. A total of 132 subjects responded to study advertisements, 107 of whom (81%) were triaged out. The remaining 25 were scheduled for the first of two clinical interviews, and 21 of 25 (88%) completed the interview. Eleven of the 25 (44%) were determined to be eligible based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Eight of the 11 accepted the idea of randomization and completed the diagnostic assessment phase. Calculated on the basis of 8 of 11 eligible patients accepting randomization, the 95% confidence interval was that 39% to 92% of eligible subjects would participate in a larger study of this design. Our findings support the feasibility of implementing an RCT comparing psychoanalysis as defined by the American Psychoanalytic Association (three or four times weekly on the couch for approximately five years) with shorter-term dynamic or cognitive behavioral therapy once or twice a week. Pre-treatment characteristics of these eight patients are presented, as are initial reliability data for the treatment adherence scales used in this trial.

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