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J Am Psychoanal Assoc. 2002 Spring;50(2):575-614.

Psychoanalytic patients in the U.S., CANADA, and Australia: I. DSM-III-R disorders, indications, previous treatment, medications, and length of treatment.

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  • 1Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis, Toronto Branch, Ontario. Norman.doidge@utoronto.ca


To determine the demographics, DSM-III-R disorders diagnosed, indications used in recommending psychoanalysis, previous treatment histories, use of medication, and length of treatment in patients in psychoanalysis in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, a mail survey of practice was sent to every other active member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and every member of the Australian Psychoanalytical Society. This supplemented an earlier survey sent to all Ontario psychoanalysts. The response rates were 40.1 % (n = 342) for the U.S., 67.2% (n = 117) for Canada, and 73.9% (n = 51) for Australia. Respondents supplied data on 1,718 patients. The employment rate for patients increases as analysis progresses (p < .0001). The mean number of concurrent categories of disorders (Axis I, Axis II, and Disorders First Evident in Childhood) per patient at the start of treatment is 5.01 (SD = 3.66; median = 4; mode = 3). There are no statistically significant differences across countries. Mood, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and personality disorders are most common. American Psychiatric Association / American Psychoanalytic Association peer review criteria for indicating psychoanalysis are followed for 86.5% of patients. Over 80% of patients in all three countries had undergone previous treatments prior to analysis. In the U.S., 18.2% of analysands are on concurrent psychoactive medication; in Australia, 9.6%. The mean length of analyses conducted in the U.S. is 5.7 years, in Australia 6.6, and in Canada 4.8. Psychoanalytic patients in all three countries have similar rates of DSM-III-R psychopathology, and many indications of chronicity.

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