The British Journal of Psychiatry
Psychotherapy with depressed outpatients: patient and process variables as predictors of outcome.
B J Rounsaville, M M Weissman, B A Prusoff


This paper evaluates the predictive power of two classes of variables which are thought to be related to psychotherapy outcome: patient characteristics assessed at the start of treatment, and process characteristics of the psychotherapy. The treatment was Short Term Interpersonal Psychotherapy which was performed with ambulatory patients during a major depressive episode as defined by Research Diagnostic Criteria. Univariate correlations indicate that patients with generally healthier functioning on the Prognostic Index received better ratings on measures of psychotherapy process and experienced greater improvement in depressive symptoms and social functioning. However, in a multiple regression analysis, patient characteristics accounted for 64 per cent of the variance in treatment outcome, while psychotherapy process variables were not predictive of outcome.