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Am J Psychother. 2002;56(2):225-32.

Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy in a private psychiatric office: clinical and cost effectiveness.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, 9215-5909 Veterans Memorial Lane, Halifax, NS, B3H 2E2.



To assess the cost and clinical effectiveness of psychiatrist-provided Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) of patients referred to a private office.


ISTDP was provided to 89 patients referred to a private psychiatric office in Vancouver, Canada. Pretherapy self-report scores, (BDI, BAI, BSI, IIP [see full names in text]) medication costs, disability costs and healthcare costs were compared with posttherapy values and normative values.


Patients' mean self-report scores went from the abnormal to normal range after an average of 14.9 hours of therapy. Returns to work, reduced healthcare utilization, and medication stopping accounted for a cost reduction of over Cdn$400,000 at one year after therapy.


ISTDP appears to be an effective and cost-effective form of intervention when provided by a psychiatrist in a private office. Randomized controlled studies are warranted to further examine the cost benefits and efficacy of ISTDP.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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