Sunday, 20 May 2018

The harms of psychotherapy: are BME and LGBT communities more at risk? 26Apr16 on Mental Elf

The harms of psychotherapy: are BME and LGBT communities more at risk?
Keith Laws & Samei Huda; The Mental Elf; 26 April 2016


[Today’s blog on the potential harms of psychotherapy is a joint effort. The first half (introduction, methods, results and reflections) was written by Keith Laws and the second half (next steps and J’Accuse) by Samei Huda.]

The emphasis on establishing the efficacy of psychological therapies has historically consigned harms to a largely unchartered hinterland. Information about both the risks as well as benefits, however, is vital if patients are to make informed choices about whether to engage in psychological treatment; in line with the NHS ambition of ‘No decision about me without me’.

We have quite recently seen a publicly funded trial of a psychological intervention halted because of worryingly higher rates of adverse events (overdose, self-harm and suicide attempts) in the intervention arm of the trial (McMurran et al 2011).  Two quite different recent reviews (Vaughan et al, 2014; Jonsson et al, 2014) have confirmed the low rates at which adverse events are monitored in randomised controlled trials of psychotherapy.

Most recently, a review of the final reports from National Institute of Health Research (the main public funder of psychological therapy trials in the UK), by Duggan and colleagues (2014) found that not one trial of psychological therapy trial funded between 1995 and 2013 mentioned the occurrence of an adverse event (compared to over two-thirds of RCTs involving drug treatments). ..."

Read complete blog post on the Mental Elf 

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