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Reading a Meta-Analysis
Article: Cuijpers, P., vanStraten, A., & Warmerdam, L. Download Article: Cuijpers, P., vanStraten, A., & Warmerdam, L.(2007). Behavioral activation treatments of depression: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 27, 318–326.
If you would rather read on a different topic, perhaps related to your project, that is fine. Just make sure it’s a meta-analysis. The questions below are about the Cuijpers et al. paper. Make up similar questions if you use a different source.
1 How do the researchers justify why their study needed to be performed?
2 How did the researchers locate studies to include?
3 What was the operational definition of “activity scheduling” used by the researchers when identifying studies to include?
4 Under “Quality assessment,” the researchers list four criteria for methodological quality. What are these four criteria and what are the four threats to internal validity that they control for?
Threat controlled for
5 What were some problems with the quality of the studies included in the meta-analysis (p. 323)?
6 How did activity scheduling compare with control conditions?
7 When activity scheduling was compared with other psychological treatments, the effect size was not significant. What does this mean from a practical standpoint?
8 If you were a clinical psychologist considering the use of activity scheduling, what limitations of this meta-analysis would make you most cautious about relying on its results?
9 How do the results of this study relate to previous research results indicating that “common factors” present across all types of psychological therapies are what make the treatments work?