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Feedback and therapist effects in the context of treatment outcome and treatment length

Feedback and therapist effects in the context of treatment outcome and treatment length

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  • Wolfgang Lutz
  • Julian Rubel
  • Anne-Katharina Schiefele
  • Dirk Zimmermann
  • Jan Rasmus Böhnke
  • Werner W Wittmann


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-660
Number of pages14
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015


Objective: This study estimates feedback and therapist effects and tests the predictive value of therapists’ and patient attitudes toward psychometric feedback for treatment outcome and length.

Methods: Data of 349 outpatients and 44 therapists in private practices were used. Separate multilevel analyses were conducted to estimate predictors and feedback and therapist effects.

Results: Around 5.88% of the variability in treatment outcome and 8.89% in treatment length were attributed to therapists. There was no relationship between the average effectiveness of therapists and the average length of their treatments. Initial impairment, early alliance, number of diagnoses, feedback as well as therapists’ and patients’ attitudes toward feedback were significant predictors of treatment outcome. Treatments tended to be longer for patients with a higher number of approved sessions by the insurance company, with higher levels of interpersonal distress at intake, and for those who developed negatively (negative feedback) over the course of their treatment.

Conclusions: Therapist effects on treatment outcome and treatment length in routine care seem to be relevant predictors in the context of feedback studies. Therapists’ attitudes toward and use of feedback as well as patients’ attitudes toward feedback should be further investigated in future research on psychometric feedback.



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