A methodological review of meta-analyses of the effectiveness of clinical psychology treatments

María Rubio-Aparicio, Fulgencio Marín-Martínez*, Julio Sánchez-Meca, José Antonio López-López

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
218 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article presents a methodological review of 54 meta-analyses of the effectiveness of clinical psychological treatments, using standardized mean differences as the effect size index. We statistically analyzed the distribution of the number of studies of the meta-analyses, the distribution of the sample sizes in the studies of each meta-analysis, the distribution of the effect sizes in each of the meta-analyses, the distribution of the between-studies variance values, and the Pearson correlations between effect size and sample size in each meta-analysis. The results are presented as a function of the type of standardized mean difference: posttest standardized mean difference, standardized mean change from pretest to posttest, and standardized mean change difference between groups. These findings will help researchers design future Monte Carlo and theoretical studies on the performance of meta-analytic procedures, based on the manipulation of realistic model assumptions and parameters of the meta-analyses. Furthermore, the analysis of the distribution of the mean effect sizes through the meta-analyses provides a specific guide for the interpretation of the clinical significance of the different types of standardized mean differences within the field of the evaluation of clinical psychological interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2057-2073
Number of pages17
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Volume50
Issue number5
Early online date19 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Clinical significance
  • Meta-analysis
  • Monte Carlo studies
  • Standardized mean difference

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