Journal article

Live psychotherapy by video versus in-person: A meta-analysis of efficacy and its relationship to types and targets of treatment

Ephrem Fernandez, Yilma Woldgabreal, Andrew Day, Tuan Pham, Bianca Gleich, Elias Aboujaoude



In-person psychotherapy (IPP) has a long and storied past, but technology advances have ushered in a new era of video-delivered psychotherapy (VDP). In this meta-analysis, pre-post changes within VDP were evaluated as were outcome differences between VDP versus IPP or other comparison groups. A literature search identified k = 56 within-group studies (N = 1681 participants) and 47 between-group studies (N = 3564). The pre-post effect size of VDP was large and highly significant, g = +0.99 95% CI [0.67-0.31]. VDP was significantly better in outcome than wait list controls (g = 0.77) but negligible in difference from IPP. Within-groups heterogeneity of effect sizes was reduced after subgroupin..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Cheyenne Kulhanek, Anna (Sabrina) Barrios, and Shamsheer Sanghera for assistance in literature searches and data extraction. This study was supported in part by a Grant for Research Advancement and Transformation awarded to Dr. Fernandez from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Appreciation is also expressed to Mr. K. Madhavan for therapeutic exchange online and in-person.