Swift, J. K., & Callahan, L. S. (2010). A comparison of client preferences for intervention empirical support versus common therapy variables, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66(12), 1217-1231.
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Swift and Callahan (2010) have recently published an intriguing empirical study of patient preference regarding psychotherapy. Adult outpatients were asked to indicate how much certainty of improvement (a la RCT efficacy research) they would be willing to trade in favor of “common factors” variables such as a therapist who is empathic, experienced, listens well, or allows the client to direct sessions. The findings suggest that patients are willing to trade quite a bit of certainty about outcomes for these other features. The magnitude of these trade-offs were reported as being greater than differences found in most treatment comparison research, leading the authors to conclude that patient preferences (at least regarding these aspects of the therapeutic relationship) are important to take into account.
The empirical investigation undertaken by Swift & Callahan is framed in context of evidenced-based practice of psychology (EBPP), defined by the APA as a patient-focused process that takes both empirical data and patient preference into account: “… the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences.” (APA Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice, 2006, p. 273). Increasingly, studies such as this one by Swift and Callahan are needed to aid clinicians, supervisors, and educators in how precisely to weigh and implement the various elements contained in EBPP and optimally tailor treatment to individual clients.
Cite This Article
Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. (2010, December). Patient preference and research efficacy in EBPP: An article review [Web article] [Review of the article A comparison of client preferences for intervention empirical support versus common therapy variables, by J. K. Swift, & J. L. Callahan]. Retrieved from http://www.societyforpsychotherapy.org/patient-preference-and-research-efficacy-in-ebpp/
Swift, J. K., & Callahan, L. S. (2010). A comparison of client preferences for intervention empirical support versus common therapy variables, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66(12), 1217-1231. doi:10.1002/jclp.20720