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AbstractThis systematic review assesses if positive psychology interventions (PPI) are more effective than other active psychological interventions for increasing the well-being of depressed adults. A review of randomised trials that compared PPI to other active interventions was conducted. A systematic search was undertaken using PsycInfo, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, two trial registries, and a manual search. The outcomes were happiness and depression. Ten studies, totalling 1341 participants, were included in the review. The small effect sizes for depression (Hedge’s g = 0.15) and happiness (Hedge’s g = 0.20) favoured PPI but were not significant, indicating no difference between PPI and other active interventions for the outcomes. Heterogeneity was high mainly due to differences in trial implementation. Risks of bias ranged from moderate to high. The results should be interpreted with caution because of the small number of included studies, high heterogeneity, and presence of bias.Protocol Registration Number PROSPERO CRD42019152513.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Happiness Studies


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date