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Adapted or Tailored Psychological Interventions for Treating Women with Mental Illness: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines

Last updated: October 5, 2017
Project Number: RC0931-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of psychological interventions that have been adapted or tailored to treat women with mental illness?
  2. What are the evidence-based guidelines associated with adapted or tailored psychological interventions for the treatment of women with mental illness?

Key Message

There is a limited quantity of data on adapted or tailored psychological interventions for women with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and substance-related and addictive disorders. One systematic review and three randomized controlled trials provided evidence on the use of adapted/tailored psychological interventions for women with depression, and substance abuse. The outcomes of interest included depression severity, substance use, intimate partner violence (IPaV), health status and quality of life, patient satisfaction with therapy, and treatment engagement. The published evidence is insufficient to make conclusions on the impact or comparative efficacy of adapted or tailored psychological interventions for women with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and substance-related and addictive disorders. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that Mom-Net, an Internet-facilitated cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program has the potential to reduce prevalence of depressive symptoms relative to Motivational Interview and Referral to Services. The findings also suggest that IPaV Therapy-CBT relative to motivational interviewing, relapse prevention and counselling may (in the short-term i.e., 3 months or less) lower incidents of psychological abuse in the relationships of women being treated for substance abuse. One relevant set of guidelines was identified. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that professionals with relevant experience should treat women with diagnosed mental health disorders who suffered intimate partner violence, as recommended in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme guidelines. The guidelines do not discuss adapted or tailored psychological interventions, specifically.