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Yes, no, maybe so: New model helps identify what works in mental health treatment

In a race to achieve accountability and credibility, the mental health profession has looked to develop evidence-based treatments (EBTs) psychotherapeutic procedures that have been shown in empirical research to work for the majority of patients.

The problem with EBTs, however, is that researchers often have multiple ways to measure improvement; things like reductions in symptoms, more harmonious relationships, or improved grades. Invariably, different ways of gauging outcomes yield inconsistent conclusions and this makes for a murky picture as researchers attempt to deem treatments as evidence-based or not.

But Andres De Los Reyes of the Institute for Juvenile Research and Alan Kazdin of Yale University believe they have developed a way to make sense of this information. In the February issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, they detail what they have dubbed The Range of Possible Changes Model.

The model uses a classification system that effectively sorts pertinent information from multiple studies. By classifying the many forms of evidence like whether the treatment is consistently supported and how treatment outcome was measured researchers can examine whether two studies of the same treatment produce the same results.

The authors hope their model will help eliminate many of the inconsistencies that arise in EBT research, alleviating some of the criticism from EBT detractors. The RPC Model takes into account inconsistencies and employing the framework will allow researchers to draw reliable and valid conclusions amidst them write the authors.


Contact: Catherine West
Association for Psychological Science

Page: 1

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