The Effectiveness of Homework in CBT


This blog post will explore the effectiveness of homework in CBT. A common misconception is that all homework should be done at home, but it can be argued that not everyone has access to a therapist or does not have time to do their homework on top of work. Homework is an important part of therapy because it allows for therapists and patients to engage outside of the session which builds trust and empowers patients by giving them the chance to practice skills they are learning.

Most studies investigating the effectiveness of homework in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have focused on the relationship between completing homework and treatment outcome. One of the important studies on this subject was the meta-analysis study of 27 studies. These studies stated that homework had a significant positive effect on the outcome of therapy.

They investigated the number and quality of homework within the framework of cognitive behavioral therapy for 10 weeks. 94 patients partook in the study. As a result of the study, it is decided that the quality and number of homework assignments had a decisive role on anxiety and depression. The results of this study revealed the importance of homework in CBT.

In addition, the study also stated that behavioral homework, such as planning and exposing pleasant activities, were the most important types of homework for depression and quality of life. In a study homework assignments had used in cognitive behavioral treatment for depression. It was examined in 2 different patient groups. Patients who completed their homework regularly at the end of 12 weeks showed more improvement than those who did not do their homework or less.

In a meta-analysis of 23 studies conducted by Mausbach (2010) in this area, he said that there was a significant relationship between homework compliance and treatment outcomes. Studies revealed that the compliance with homework given in CBT treatment was positively related to post-treatment fear and worries. 

Other Studies

In a study examining the effect of completing homework on the outcome of treatment in 123 patients receiving CBT therapy. It was stated that completing homework predicted less cocaine use during treatment in patients who were highly prepared for change. In the same study, researchers found that early compliance with homework results in better treatment continuation.

The researchers stated that it supports the use of homework during CBT treatment in patients with substance use disorder. In a recent study, a number of high-quality homework assignments and exposure had a bigger impact on treatment results than psychoeducation and self-observation (Cammin-Nowak et al. 2013). For this reason, the effect of homework assignments and time of application should be taken into consideration. 

Another Study

One study evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy on 37 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The study stated that homework assignments such as filling the scales of cognitive distorting record keeping and exposure were effective in the therapy. The patient group received 14 sessions of cognitive behavioral group therapy lasting 90-120 minutes per week. The study also stated that 8 patients discontinued treatment for group reasons. And 29 patients completed group therapies during group therapies.

Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,.

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