Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for the review.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of PST, which involved a therapist teaching a client how to use a step-by-step process to solve life problems, were eligible for inclusion. Studies had to either describe the problem-solving steps that the participants were trained in or state that the PST followed specific named guidelines. Studies of interpersonal cognitive PST and studies in which PST was combined with other therapy methods (e.g. assertion training, relaxation training, communication training, systematic reinforcement and information booklets) were excluded. The included studies evaluated individual, group and family PST with or without homework. Treatment duration ranged from 2 to 52 hours. The comparators included no treatment, treatment as usual, attention-placebo treatment or another bona fide treatment for the condition.
Participants included in the review
Studies of people with any mental or physical health problem were eligible for inclusion. The majority of studies involved people with mental health problems, although studies of people with obesity and low back pain were also included.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies reporting changes in any measure of physical or mental health were eligible for the review. The specific outcomes evaluated in the included studies were not reported.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.