Negative effects during multicomponent group-based treatment: A multisite study

Martina Pourová, Tomáš Řiháček (Lead / Corresponding author), Luboš Chvála, Zbyněk Vybíral, Jan R. Boehnke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Negative effects (NEs) in group treatments remain an under-researched area. This study aimed to explore the prevalence of various types of NEs in a multicomponent group-based treatment and to determine their predictors. 

Method: A total of 330 patients participating in a multicomponent group-based treatment were recruited across seven clinical sites. At the end of treatment, the Negative Effects Questionnaire (NEQ) was used to measure NEs. Item-level descriptive analysis was conducted to explore the prevalence of various types of NEs, and structural equation modeling was used to determine predictors of these NEs. 

Results: The most frequently reported type of NEs was the worsening of symptoms, and the single most frequently reported item was the resurfacing of unpleasant memories. Predictors of NEs included the overall distress level, alexithymia, attachment avoidance, low working alliance, problem actuation, and worse outcomes; psychological mindedness was a protective factor. 

Conclusion: Patients who experience higher levels of distress at the beginning of treatment, who perceive the group working alliance as problematic, and who experience high in-session emotional arousal related to their problem seem to be especially prone to reporting NEs. Furthermore, the findings do not support the assumption that NEs are a prerequisite for therapeutic change. 

Trial registration: identifier: ISRCTN13532466.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-297
Number of pages16
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • group therapy
  • multisite study
  • negative effects
  • predictors
  • structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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