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Brief, non-directive psychotherapy and GP care both improved patients' emotional difficulties

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Question In patients with emotional difficulties is brief, non-directive psychotherapy more effective than routine general practitioner (GP) care?


Randomised controlled trial with 9 months follow up.


14 practices in north west London, UK.


136 patients who were ≥18 years of age (mean age 39 y, 81% women) and had emotional difficulties starting within the previous 6 months that their GP felt required a brief, non-directive psychotherapy intervention. Exclusion criteria were current receipt of brief psychotherapy or other form of psychological intervention, psychotic or chronic mental illness, suicidal tendencies, severe drug or alcohol dependency, physical illness precluding coming to the doctor's office, or inability to complete questionnaires. Follow up at 9 months was 86%.


Patients were allocated to brief, non-directive psychotherapy (n=70) or routine care from their GP (n=66). 4 general practice based …

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