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Table 1 Characteristics of studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis

From: The effect of positive psychology interventions on well-being and distress in clinical samples with psychiatric or somatic disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis

First author (Year) Disorder % female Mean age (SD) PPI name (n) Format (guidance) Duration in days or weeks
(n sessions)
Control group (n) Retention rate
post-treatment
Follow-up (in weeks) Outcome measure
         PPI Control   WB DEP ANX S
Andrewes (2014) [40] Brain injury 10% 42.2 (8.5) Three good things in life / Signature strengths (4) Individual (Yes) 2w (1–2) CBT (5) 80% 100% 10 AHI    
Asgharipoor (2012) [41] Major Depressive Disorder 72% 26.4 (5.9) Positive psychotherapy (9) Group (Yes) 12w (12) CBT (5) 100% 100% EWBS BDI-II   SUDS
Breitbart (2010) [43] Advanced cancer 51% 60.1 (11.8) Meaning-centered group psychotherapy (49) Group (Yes) 8w (8) Supportive Psychotherapy (41) 71.4% 48.8% 8 FACIT-SP HADS-D HADS-A  
Breitbart (2012) [42] Advanced cancer 61% 54.4 (11.6) Meaning-centered group psychotherapy (64) Individual (Yes) 7w (7) Massage (56) 64.1% 66.1% 8 FACIT-SP HADS-D HADS-A  
Breitbart (2015) [44] Advanced cancer 70% 58.2 (11.0) Meaning-centered group psychotherapy (132) Group (Yes) 8w (8) Supportive Psychotherapy (121) 52.3% 47.9% 8 FACIT-SP BDI-II HADS-A  
Celano (2016) [55] Major Depressive Disorder 69% 44 (16.6) Positive Psychology Intervention (32) Individual (Yes) 6w (6) Cognition Focused Intervention (33) 90.6% 87.8% 6 PA QIDS-SR   
Cerezo (2014) [46] Breast cancer 100% 50 (9.7) Positive Psychology Intervention (87) Group (Yes) 14w (14) Waitlist (88) 86.1% 83% SWLS    
Chaves (2017) [47] Depression/ Dysthymia 100% 51.7 (10.4) Positive Psychology Intervention (47) Group (Yes) 10w (10) CBT (49) 72.4% 79.6% SWLS BDI-II BAI  
Cohn (2014) [48] Type 2 diabetes 51% 54 (U) DAHLIA: Developing Affective HeaLth to Improve Adherence (29) Individual (No) 5w (0) Emotion reporting (20) 86.2% 85% PA CES-D   PSS
Coote (2012) [49] Depression 71% 52.5 (13.4) Goal-setting and Planning (26) Individual (No) 5w (0) Waitlist (29) 92.3% 62.1% 5 PA CES-D   
Elham (2015) [50] Cardiovascular diseases 41% 68.9 (8.3) Need-based spiritual/religious interventions (33) Individual (Yes) 3 days (3) No treatment (33) 100% 100% SWBS   STAI  
Fava (1998) [51] Affective disorders 55% 28.4 (6.6) Well-being therapy (10) Group (Yes) 16w (8) CBT (10) 100% 100% PWB CID-D SQ-A  
Fava (2005) [52] Generalized anxiety disorder 65% 41.9 (11.9) Well-being therapy (10) Group (Yes) 16w (8) CBT (10) 80% 80% 52 PWB CID-D CID-A  
Henry (2010) [53] Stage III or IV ovarian cancer 100% 55 (9.7) The Meaning-Making intervention (12) Individual (Yes) 8w (3) TAU (12) 80% 92.3% 12 FACIT-SP HADS-D HADS-A  
Hsiao (2012) [54] Breast cancer 100% 46.2 (8.6) Body-mind-spirit (BMS) group therapy (26) Group (Yes) 8w (8) One psycho-educational session (22) 69.2% 95.4% 32 MLQ BDI-II   
Huffman (2016) [55] Coronary syndrome 40% 62.8 (11.5) Positive Psychology Interventions (23) Individual (Yes) 8w (8) TAU (25) 87% 88% PA HADS-D HADS-A  
Kent (2011) [56] Posttraumatic Stress Disorder 33% 54 (8.34) Resilience-Oriented Treatment (20) Group (Yes) 12w (12) Waitlist (19) 95% 89.5% PWB BDI-II STAI PDS
Kerr (2015) (Group 1 gratitude) Various mental problems 75% 43 (11.1) Gratitude Interventions (16) Individual (No) 2w (14) Mood monitoring (15) ? ? MLQ DASS-D DASS-A DASS-S
Kerr (2015) (Group 2 Kindness) Various mental problems 75% 43 (11.1) Kindness Interventions (16) Individual (No) 2w (14) Mood monitoring (15) ? ? MLQ DASS-D DASS-A DASS-S
Krentzman (2015) [58] Alcohol use disorder 48% 46.3 (10.9) Web-based gratitude exercise (11) Individual (No) 2w (14) Placebo (11) ? ? 8 PA    
Lee (2006) [59] Breast or colorectal cancer 81% 56.7 (10) Meaning-making intervention (35) Individual (Yes) 4.5w (4) No treatment (39) 85.4% 95.1% LOT-R    
Louro (2016) [60] Colorectal cancer 34% (U) Enhancing Positive Emotions Procedure (31) Group (Yes) 6w (4) No treatment (21) 77.4% 95.2% 4 PA    
Mann (2001) [61] HIV patients 100% 38.5 (8.2) Future Writing and Optimism (21) Individual (No) 4w (8) No treatment (23) 95.2% 87% LOT-R    
Muller (2016) [62] Physical disability and chronic pain 70% 59.4 (11.8) Computer-based positive psychology intervention (51) Individual (No) 8w (0) Writing exercises (45) 76.5% 74.5% 10 PWI HADS-D   
Nikrahan (2016) [63] (group 1) Heart diseases 24% 56.6 (8.7) Fordyce’s positive CBT (15) Group (Yes) 6w (6) Waitlist (14) 66.7% 85.7% SWLS BDI-II   
Nikrahan (2016) [63] (group 2) Heart diseases 24% 56.6 (8.7) Lyubomirsky’s the how of happiness (13) Group (Yes) 6w (6) Waitlist (14) 92.3% 85.7% SWLS BDI-II   
Nikrahan (2016) [63] (group 3) Heart diseases 24% 56.6 (8.7) Seligman’s authentic Happiness (13) Group (Yes) 6w (6) Waitlist (14) 76.9% 85.7% SWLS BDI-II   
Pietrowsky (2012) [64] Depression 53% 38.9 (8.6) Positive Psychology Interventions (9) Group (Yes) 4w (3) TAU (8) 77.8% 75% SWLS BDI-II   
Sanjuan (2016) [65] Cardiac diseases 18% 54.4 (9.1) Program to improve Well-being (57) Group (Yes) 6w (24) Relaxation (51) 87.7% 84.3% PA SCL90-D   
Schrank (2016) [66] Psychosis 40% 42.5 (11.3) Positive psychotherapy (47) Group (Yes) 11w (11) TAU (47) 91.5% 87.2% WEMWBS SDHS   
Seligman (2006) [67] (study 2) Depression 76% (U) Positive psychotherapy (11) Individual (Yes) 12w (14) TAU (9) 84.6% 60% SWLS ZSRS   
Taylor (2017) [68] Depression / Anxiety 62.5% 29.4 (12.1) Positive Activity Intervention (16) Individual (Yes) 10w (10) Waitlist (12) 100% 92.3% SWLS BDI-II STAI  
Uliaszek (2016) [69] Severe emotion dysregulation 78% 22.2 (5.0) Positive Psychotherapy Group (Yes) 12w (12) DBT 55.6% 85.2% PPTI SCL-90-D SCL-R-A DTS
  1. Note. AHI Authentic Happiness Index, ANX Anxiety, BAI Beck Anxiety Inventory, BDI-II Beck Depression Inventory-II, CES-D Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, CID-A Clinical Interview for Depression - Anxiety subscale, CID-D Clinical Interview for Depression - Depression subscale, EWBS Emotional Well-Being Scale, DBT Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, DEP Depression, DTS Distress Tolerance Scale, FACIT-SP Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Spiritual Well-being Scale, HADS Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS-A Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale – Anxiety Scale, HADS-D Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale - Depression Scale, HS The Hope Scale, LOT-R Life Orientation Test – Revised, MLQ The Meaning in Life Questionnaire, PA The Positive and Negative Affect Scale - Positive Affect Scale, PDS Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, PPI Positive Psychological Intervention, PPTI Positive Psychotherapy Inventory, PSS Perceived Stress Scale, PWB The Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being, PWBS Psychological Well-Being Scale, PWI Personal Well-being Index, QIDS-SR Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, Self-Report, S Stress, SCL-90-A Symptom Checklist 90 – Anxiety subscale, SCL-90-D Symptom Checklist 90 - Depression subscale, STAI Spielberger State – Trait Anxiety Inventory, SQ-A Symptom Questionnaire - Anxiety subscale, SUDS Subjective Units of Distress Scale, SWB Subjective Well-Being, SWBS Spiritual Well-Being Scale, SWLS Satisfaction with Life Scale, TAU Treatment-as-Usual, U Unknown, WB Well-being, WEMMWB Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale