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Mood and anxiety disorders: differences between long- and short-term psychotherapies in work ability, but not employment

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How effective are short- and long-term psychotherapies for improving work and functional capacity in people with depressive and anxiety disorders?


326 adult outpatients (20–45 years old) with DSM-IV mood or anxiety disorders who were considered to have between neurosis and higher level borderline disorder according to Kernberg’s classification of personality organisation. Main exclusions: psychotic disorder, severe personality disorder, adjustment disorder, substance related disorder, serious physical disorders, including organic brain disorder, mental retardation, having psychotherapy in previous 2 years, or employed in psychiatric health.


Outpatient psychiatric services in the Helsinki region, Finland; recruitment June 1994 to June 2000.


Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LPP), short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (SPP), or solution-focused therapy (SFT). See online notes for further details.


Work ability (Work Ability Index (WAI) modified to apply to the unemployed, students, and the employed, score range 7–49, higher score indicates greater ability; work-subscale of the Social Adjustment Scale (SAS)-Work; Perceived Psychological Functioning Scale (PPFS), score range …

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  • Competing interests: None.

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