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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Researcher allegiance in psychotherapy outcome research: an overview of reviews

Munder T, Brütsch O, Leonhart R, Gerger H, Barth J.
Clinical Psychology Review
Volume 33, Issue 4, June 2013, Pages 501–511


Researcher allegiance (RA) is widely discussed as a risk of bias in psychotherapy outcome research. The relevance attached to RA bias is related to meta-analyses demonstrating an association of RA with treatment effects. However, recent meta-analyses have yielded mixed results. To provide more clarity on the magnitude and robustness of the RA-outcome association this article reports on a meta-meta-analysis summarizing all available meta-analytic estimates of the RA-outcome association. Random-effects methods were used. Primary study overlap was controlled. Thirty meta-analyses were included. The mean RA-outcome association was r = .262 (p = .002, I2 = 28.98%), corresponding to a moderate effect size. The RA-outcome association was robust across several moderating variables including characteristics of treatment, population, and the type of RA assessment. Allegiance towards the RA bias hypothesis moderated the RA-outcome association. The findings of this meta-meta-analysis suggest that the RA-outcome association is substantial and robust. Implications for psychotherapy outcome research are discussed.

The entire article is here.