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Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2005;51(2):145-62.

[Short-term and long-term inpatient psychotherapy -- indications, results, predictors].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Untere Zahlbacher Str. 8, Bau 920, D-55131 Mainz, Germany.



This study investigated differences between patients in both short-term and long-term inpatient psychotherapy. Results for both settings as well as predictors of treatment outcomes were determined.


Consecutive patients of the Giessen University Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, who were treated during a two-year period in both short- and long-term treatment settings, were studied prospectively (N = 166; return-rate 70 %). Standardized questionnaires were applied for distress (SCL-90 R), physical complaints (GBB 24) and interpersonal problems (IIP-D) as well as for object relationships (IPO).


In concordance with treatment concepts, patients in short-term psychotherapy had a more acute onset of symptoms, were more highly distressed and better occupationally integrated; patients in long-term treatment suffered more frequently from chronic psychosomatic disorders, personality disorders and comorbid somatic conditions. In both treatment settings distress and physical complaints decreased considerably and remained quite stable during follow-up. Concurring predictors of outcome were more adaptive patterns of object and interpersonal relationships as well as social resources. No differences were seen between the short-term and long-term treatment for utilization of ambulatory psychotherapy after discharge.


The study shows that a differentiation between short- and long-term treatments, even within one psychosomatic hospital unit, allows for differential indication and treatment concepts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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