Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) in the Emergency Department (ISTDPED)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Nova Scotia Health Authority Identifier:
First received: February 12, 2008
Last updated: January 30, 2009
Last verified: January 2009

February 12, 2008
January 30, 2009
January 2002
October 2007   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Emergency department visits pre and post [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Same as current
No Changes Posted
  • Brief Symptom Inventory [ Time Frame: pre and post ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Patient Satisfaction [ Time Frame: post ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Same as current
Not Provided
Not Provided
Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) in the Emergency Department
Emotion-Focused Diagnosis and Treatment of Somatization in the ED
Objective: Somatization of emotions accounts for excess Emergency department (ED) visits. Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) has methods to diagnose and manage somatization. We examined the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of ISTDP diagnostic and treatment methods used for patients with repeated ED presentations for medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUS)
Herein we report the methods and outcomes of rapidly-accessed, emotion-focused diagnostic and treatment services for patients presenting to the ED with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). Patients who were assessed and referred by ED physicians will serve as a non-randomized condition controlling for some relevant variables. Our a priori hypotheses were that assessed and treated patients would have a reduction in ED visits and self reported symptoms after this intervention and that controls would have a smaller reduction in ED visits if any.
Not Provided
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Somatic Complaints of Multiple Types
Behavioral: Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy
A brief psychotherapy format
Other Name: Short-term Psychotherapy
  • Experimental: 1
    ISTDP therapy was provided
    Intervention: Behavioral: Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy
  • No Intervention: 2
    People referred but never seen
Abbass A. Somatization: Diagnosing it sooner through emotion-focused interviewing. J Fam Pract. 2005 Mar;54(3):231-9, 243. Review.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
October 2007
October 2007   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Unexplained symptoms

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Psychosis, substance abuse, suicidality
18 Years and older
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Allan Abbass, Director, Centre for Emotions and Health, Capital District Health Authority, Canada
Nova Scotia Health Authority
Not Provided
Principal Investigator: Allan A Abbass, MD FRCPC Capital Health, Canada
Nova Scotia Health Authority
January 2009

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP