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The Effect of Positive Psychology Interventions in Clinical Samples with Psychiatric Disorders on Well-Being and Psychiatric Symptoms: A Systematic Literature Review

Terhart, T. (2018) The Effect of Positive Psychology Interventions in Clinical Samples with Psychiatric Disorders on Well-Being and Psychiatric Symptoms: A Systematic Literature Review.

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Abstract:Background: Research on positive psychological interventions [PPIs] suggests significant but small to medium effects on mental health in non-clinical samples, yet data is inconclusive whether PPIs are beneficial for clinical samples. The aim of this systematic literature review is to describe the effects of PPIs in clinical samples with psychiatric disorders on well-being and psychiatric symptoms (depression, anxiety, stress). Methods: A systematic literature review was performed following PRISMA guidelines. The study quality was assessed using the Jadad scale and the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias. The PPIs were recoded into the five elements from Seligman’s well-being theory (PERMA). Lastly, Pearson’s bivariate correlation coefficients were calculated and tested for statistical significance between the sum of the PERMA elements and the effect sizes. Results: The included 15 studies (N = 950) displayed different psychiatric disorders (depression being most frequent), sample groups (489 in PPIs, 461 in control), ages (M = 40.29, range = [18; 68]) and PPI components. For increasing well-being 14 of the 15 studies reported small to large effect sizes (range = [0.15; 1.81]), 13 of the 15 for reducing symptoms of depression (range = [0.12; 2.13]), 8 out of 8 for anxiety (range = [0.30; 2.53]) and 4 out of 5 for stress (range = [0.38; 1.40]). The sum of the PERMA elements was not associated with the effect size of any outcome measure (well-being, depression, anxiety, stress). All used studies were of low or medium quality. Conclusion: PPIs seem to be innovative and for many patients with psychiatric disorders effective. The patients benefit in increased well-being and reduced pathological symptoms. Further, the applicability of the PERMA model appears to be a fitting paradigm to describe well-being but is not a necessity for the function of PPIs in clinical samples. It may be time to explore the applicability of PPIs as complementary programs to psychotherapy by practitioners to garner more practical insights and further the scientific efforts.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/74531
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