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J Clin Psychol. 2005 Jul;61(7):819-34.

Experimental analysis of specific treatment factors: efficacy and practice implications.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA. jlohr@uark.edu


Interest in the empirical demonstration of the clinical efficacy of psychosocial treatments has been rekindled by societal concerns over accountability and cost effectiveness of mental health services. The result has been the identification of specific treatments for specific disorders. The prescription of treatment content should be based on the theory of therapeutic action and/or the disorder to which it is applied. The demonstration of specific treatment efficacy requires experimental evidence showing the influence of specific procedures beyond nonspecific factors of treatment. We provide an analysis of these factors and their effects in evaluating the specific efficacy of prescriptive psychosocial treatments. Experimental procedures and designs that test the validity of specific treatments are described and applied to cognitive-behavioral treatments of generalized anxiety disorder. The empirical and professional implications of specific treatment efficacy in evidence-based practice are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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