To the Editor: In their meta-analysis of the effectiveness of LTPP, Drs Leichsenring and Rabung1 concluded that LTPP was significantly superior to shorter-term methods of psychotherapy with regard to overall outcome, target problems, and personality functioning. There are multiple problems with their meta-analysis that mitigate the scientific credibility of this conclusion.
First, the designation of “shorter-term methods of psychotherapy” included 5 treatments that did not constitute formal psychotherapy as it is generally understood. These treatments consisted of a waitlist control condition, nutritional counseling, standard psychiatric care, low-contact routine treatment, and treatment as usual (TAU) in the community. Such “mixing apples and oranges” is problematic in meta-analyses.