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Psychol Rep. 1998 Apr;82(2):427-33.

Severity of symptoms of depression and anxiety as predictors of duration of psychotherapy.

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Psychology Department, St. John's University, Jamaica, NY 11439, USA.


The present study explored predictors of the duration of therapy exclusive of outcome utilizing data on 77 patients at St. John's University Center for Psychological Services. Measures of time in therapy were the total number of sessions attended and the number of sessions attended within the first six months of therapy. A bivariate Pearson product-moment correlation matrix was constructed, comprised of measures for time in therapy, severity of symptom measures, treatment modality (psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioral), age, and sex. There was a significant correlation between scores on state anxiety and the total number of sessions as well as between scores on state anxiety and number of sessions attended within six months, but no other correlations between measures of severity of symptoms and time in therapy were significant (p > .05). The results indicate that severity of symptoms does not significantly predict the duration of therapy.

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