Operationalized psychodynamic diagnosis: a systematic review of the literature

Diagnóstico psicodinâmico operacionalizado: uma revisão sistemática da literatura

Luciane Maria Both André Goettems Bastos Lúcia Helena Machado Freitas About the authors



The Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis (OPD-2) is an operational multiaxial diagnostic assessment and treatment planning tool. This systematic review sought to analyze empirical studies that used the OPD as an instrument. In addition to identifying the studies, we analyzed the topics covered and the results of research that used the OPD empirically.


Articles, dissertations and empirical theses that mentioned or used the OPD instrument in the last five years (2012-2017) were included in this review. The strategy included searching with combinations of the descriptors “Operationalized and psychodynamic and diagnosis” from the Portal de Periódicos CAPES on the PubMed, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate databases for work published in English, Portuguese or Spanish in the last five years.


The search returned a total of 189 papers, but only 20 were included. The studies selected discussed the validity and reliability of the instrument, the therapeutic process and analysis of outcomes, assessment of different mental disorders, and also included studies comparing different instruments and techniques. Considerable scientific effort has evidently been dedicated to accumulating more consistent data on psychodynamic diagnosis.


It was demonstrated that the OPD is an essential clinical tool for dimensional comprehension of the subject and for scientific research. However, the number of publications on the subject is not yet significant and the methods employed are diverse. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of data on topics such as applicability in different contexts and to different pathologies, promoting greater visibility and with greater representativeness of professionals who have experience with the instrument.

Diagnosis; assessment; psychodynamics; review

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