Equal Benefit for Minorities From Psychotherapy, Study Finds

Members of racial or ethnic minority groups benefit just as much from psychotherapy as do members of the white majority in Western countries, according to a report in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

Researchers from Vrije Universiteit (VU), University Amsterdam, and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research looked at 56 randomized, controlled trials among adults that compared psychotherapies with usual care or a waiting list. The most common treatments were cognitive-behavioral therapy (in 32 trials) or interpersonal psychotherapy (11 trials).

“Our overall results suggest there is little reason to assume that psychotherapy is less effective for racial-ethnic minority populations compared with nonminority populations,” concluded the authors. “Because our meta-analysis did not give strong indications that psychological treatments work differently between specific racial-ethnic minority groups, more attention should be paid to the gap between effective mental health care and the delivery of these services.”

Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300165

The authors are with the Department of Clinical Psychology, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research (e-mail: b.unlu@vu.nl).