Recent years have seen an increase in emphasis on the use of psychological treatments that are supported by empirical data, as advocates have argued these treatments lead to better patient outcomes. We have previously shown that a shift to use of empirically supported treatments in a training clinic led to significant improvement in patient outcomes over four years (Cukrowicz et al., 2005). In the current study, we examined whether average patient outcomes at termination continued to be favorable over the six-year period following the initial shift. We examined data from 549 patients (M age = 25.78, SD = 10.08; 322 females and 227 males) treated prior to and after the shift to empirically supported treatments, all of whom were rated after termination using the Clinical Global Impression rating scale to track their improvement during treatment. The current study found that improvements in patient outcomes continued over the six-year follow-up period. Patients treated during the follow-up period had superior outcomes when compared to those treated following the initial shift to empirically supported treatments (effect size = .28, p < 05) and when compared to those treated prior to the shift to empirically supported treatments (effect size = 1.83, p < .001). Thus, this study points both to the efficacy of empirically supported treatments in clinical practice and to the feasibility of implementing and successfully maintaining EST use in a training clinic setting.
- Empirically supported treatments
- Evidence-based practice in psychology