Strategies for assessing psychotherapy outcome

Once a particular experimental design has been decided upon, the next crucial question in evaluating psychotherapy pertains to the selection of instruments for the study. Instruments include those needed to adequately select a patient population, such as measures of psychiatric diagnoses and initial symptomatology. Therapeutic change is often evaluated on a broad range of measures including dimensional measures of symptoms, personality, self-esteem, quality of life, and functioning in a variety of areas (for example, social and occupational functioning). In addition, the impact of treatment on specific theoretical constructs (mediators) can be examined. Discussion of each of these domains follows.

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