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Meta-Analysis of Computer-Aided Psychotherapy: Problems and Partial Solutions

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Meta-analysis can be valuable if it heeds its originators' caution that intimate communing with the data is essential. A critique of the authors' own meta-analysis shows that the danger of overly broad conclusions could be reduced by attention to specificities and awareness of potentially hidden sources of variance. Conclusions from even good meta-analyses are best placed in perspective, along with naturalistic reviews, open studies, and even anecdotes to yield a fair picture of what computer-aided psychotherapy or any other treatment can achieve under varying conditions. The most realistic picture comes from zooming in and out and melding meta-analyses with further types of evidence.

Keywords: computer-aided psychotherapy; meta-analysis critique; self-help

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK 2: Department of Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 3: School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 4: School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK 5: Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linkoping University, Linkoping, and Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry Section, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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