Table 1

(Categories of) exclusion criteria found in psychotherapy efficacy trials
Categorical exclusion criterion Subtypes of exclusion criteria included in Category* Proportion of trials using the criteria
Bipolar disorder or history of (hypo-) manic episode 95%
Schizophrenia, a history of psychosis or psychotic features 90%
Current or past abuse or dependence on alcohol and/or drugs - Alcohol abuse or dependence 85%
- Drug abuse or dependence
Not meeting a minimum severity threshold 80%
Previous use of medication or ECT - ECT less than 6 months before start of trial 70%
- History of use of a tricyclic antidepressant
- Use of amitriptyline less than 3 months prior to trial
- Use of imipramine less than 3 months prior to trial
- Use of paroxetine less than 1 year prior to trial
- Use of any antidepressant less than 2 months prior to trial
- Use of any antidepressant less than 1 month prior to trial
- Use of any antidepressant less than 2 weeks prior to trial
- Current use of an antidepressant
Co morbid personality disorder - Borderline personality disorder 60%
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Schizotypical personality disorder
Cognitive disorders - Cognitive disorders in general 55
- Organic brain syndrome
- Delirium or dementia
- Mental retardation
Somatic concerns - Somatic co morbidity in general 55%
- Co morbid somatisation disorder
Anxiety disorder as primary diagnosis - Generalized anxiety disorder 45%
- Specific phobia
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
Contra indication for the use of medication in general 45%
Suicidal ideation 40%
Previous psychotherapy, with or without success History of psychotherapy
- Psychotherapy less than 5 years prior to trial
- Psychotherapy less than 2 years prior to trial
- Psychotherapy less than 1 year prior to trial
- Psychotherapy less than 2 months prior to trial
- Current psychotherapy
Psychiatric co morbidity in general, including eating disorders 25%
Crisis - Need for immediate intervention 20%
- Indication for admission

*If no subtypes are mentioned, the categorical exclusion criterion was reported in the same way in all trials.

van der Lem et al.

van der Lem et al. BMC Psychiatry 2012 12:192   doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-192

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