In the world of psychiatry, it’s common to come across differing opinions on the best way to manage various disorders. Some clinicians prefer combination therapy, some support pure psychotherapy, while others trial pharmaceuticals prior to engaging in talk therapy. With multiple avenues available, what’s the best approach?
We took a look at a review of 102 meta-analyses of how professionals across the country handle different categories of disorders and their resulting efficacy. And guess what?
There’s no one size fits all! That’s right. This review that looked through 3,782 RCTs and 650,514 patients (all adult) found small benefits for both pharamcotherapies and psychotherapies (SMD=0.35). In their break down, the authors show that clinicians across the field generally favor a combination of both interventions to address conditions such as depression, social anxiety, OCD, and PTSD when compared to monotherapy. However, there are still notable benefits for each condition when using monotherapy! So…what’s the take away?
When considering treatment options for your patient, you need to consider their individual case. Some patients are fine with monotherapy, whether that is psycho or pharma, and some require a little of both. It’s your job as the professional in the field to assess which way is best for them. And so long as you do your due diligence, the data suggests one way over the other isn’t necessarily “better” (so, so there therapeutic purists!)
Making judgement calls can be tricky. A great way to get more comfortable is to practice! Learn more about treatment options and give your assessment skills a work out by going through our Diagnostic Procedures and Psychopharmacology topics. Give our question banks a try- FREE- using our Free Trial! Or if you’re ready to take the plunge, check out our Question Banks and find the perfect fit for you! Or, contact us with any questions you have so we can help you prep in the best way for you
Leichsenring, F., Steinert, C., Rabung, S., & Ioannidis, J. P. (2022). The efficacy of psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies for mental disorders in adults: an umbrella review and meta‐analytic evaluation of recent meta‐analyses. World Psychiatry, 21(1), 133-145.