Psychotherapy for medically ill patients: Review and critique of controlled studies

H. R. Conte, T. B. Karasu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The authors summarize and evaluate the findings of 18 controlled studies of the use of dyadic and group therapy as primary or adjunctive treatment for patients with peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, functional abdominal disorders, asthma, migraine, skin disease, cardiovascular disease, or essential hypertension. The evidence suggests that some significant gains are achieved when psychotherapy is added to routine medical regimens. Of the 13 studies whose designs were termed 'adequate' or 'good', eight showed greater physiologic improvement for patients receiving psychotherapy than for those receiving medical treatment alone. In the remaining five of the 13 studies, psychotherapy produced no significant physiologic differences between experimental and control groups. Refinements in methodology and standardization of therapeutic intervention will contribute to greater specificity in further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-315
Number of pages31
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


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