Cultural congruence with psychotherapy efficacy: A network meta-analytic examination in China

Hui Xu, Terence Tracey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We used network meta-analysis to examine the relative efficacy of 3 treatment modalities in China (i.e., cognitive-psychoeducational therapy, humanistic- experiential therapy, and indigenous therapy) on the basis of a comprehensive review of randomized control trials (n = 235). The cultural congruence hypothesis derived from the contextual model argues that psychotherapy efficacy varies by the extent to which therapy modalities match the cultural context in its description of pathology and healing modalities. Given the experiential-subjective emphasis of Chinese culture, we proposed indigenous therapy and humanistic- experiential therapy being more effective than cognitive-psychoeducational therapy. Results based on indirect and direct comparisons supported the hypothesized differences in effectiveness. Treatments that more closely matched Chinese understandings of pathology and change experience were more effective. The practical and theoretical implications of the present study were discussed along with limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Chinese context
  • Cultural congruence
  • Network meta-analysis
  • Psychotherapy efficacy
  • Treatment comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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