Background: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to address the limited generalizability of studies on defense mechanisms in depression by comparing depressive individuals with non-clinical controls (aim a) and examining changes throughout psychological interventions (aim b) (PROSPERO CRD42023442620). Methods: We followed PRISMA 2020 guidelines, searching PubMed/Web of Science/(EBSCO)PsycINFO until 13/04/2023 for studies evaluating defense mechanisms with measures based on the hierarchical model in depressive patients versus non-clinical controls or throughout psychological intervention. We conducted random-effect meta-analyses for mature defenses/non-mature (neurotic/immature) defenses/overall defensive functioning (ODF), with standardized mean difference (SMD) as outcome measure metric. Meta-regression/subgroup/sensitivity analyses were conducted. Study quality was appraised using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS), and certainty of evidence for aim b outcomes was evaluated using GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations). Results: 18 studies were included (mean NOS score = 5.56). Depressive patients used significantly more nonmature defenses than non-clinical controls (SMD = 0.74; k = 13). Non-clinical controls did not significantly differ in use of mature defenses compared to depressive patients (SMD = 0.33; k = 14). Significant moderators were publication year/NOS score/geographical distribution/mean age for non-mature defenses and NOS score/geographical distribution for mature defenses. Throughout psychological interventions, only ODF significantly increased (SMD = 0.55; k = 2) (GRADE = very low). Limitations: Quality of many studies was medium/sub-optimal, and longitudinal studies were scarce. Conclusion: Individuals with depressive disorders show a high use of non-mature defenses that could be assessed and targeted in psychological interventions, especially in younger patients.

Defensive functioning in individuals with depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis / Fiorentino, Flavia; LO BUGLIO, Gabriele; Morelli, Mara; Chirumbolo, Antonio; Di Giuseppe, Mariagrazia; Lingiardi, Vittorio; Tanzilli, Annalisa. - In: JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS. - ISSN 0165-0327. - 357:(2024), pp. 42-50. [10.1016/j.jad.2024.04.091]

Defensive functioning in individuals with depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Flavia Fiorentino;Gabriele Lo Buglio;Mara Morelli;Antonio Chirumbolo;Vittorio Lingiardi;Annalisa Tanzilli
2024

Abstract

Background: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to address the limited generalizability of studies on defense mechanisms in depression by comparing depressive individuals with non-clinical controls (aim a) and examining changes throughout psychological interventions (aim b) (PROSPERO CRD42023442620). Methods: We followed PRISMA 2020 guidelines, searching PubMed/Web of Science/(EBSCO)PsycINFO until 13/04/2023 for studies evaluating defense mechanisms with measures based on the hierarchical model in depressive patients versus non-clinical controls or throughout psychological intervention. We conducted random-effect meta-analyses for mature defenses/non-mature (neurotic/immature) defenses/overall defensive functioning (ODF), with standardized mean difference (SMD) as outcome measure metric. Meta-regression/subgroup/sensitivity analyses were conducted. Study quality was appraised using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS), and certainty of evidence for aim b outcomes was evaluated using GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations). Results: 18 studies were included (mean NOS score = 5.56). Depressive patients used significantly more nonmature defenses than non-clinical controls (SMD = 0.74; k = 13). Non-clinical controls did not significantly differ in use of mature defenses compared to depressive patients (SMD = 0.33; k = 14). Significant moderators were publication year/NOS score/geographical distribution/mean age for non-mature defenses and NOS score/geographical distribution for mature defenses. Throughout psychological interventions, only ODF significantly increased (SMD = 0.55; k = 2) (GRADE = very low). Limitations: Quality of many studies was medium/sub-optimal, and longitudinal studies were scarce. Conclusion: Individuals with depressive disorders show a high use of non-mature defenses that could be assessed and targeted in psychological interventions, especially in younger patients.
2024
Depression; Depressive disorders; Defense mechanisms; DMRS; Meta-analysis;
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Defensive functioning in individuals with depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis / Fiorentino, Flavia; LO BUGLIO, Gabriele; Morelli, Mara; Chirumbolo, Antonio; Di Giuseppe, Mariagrazia; Lingiardi, Vittorio; Tanzilli, Annalisa. - In: JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS. - ISSN 0165-0327. - 357:(2024), pp. 42-50. [10.1016/j.jad.2024.04.091]
File allegati a questo prodotto
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1709202
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact