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Efficacy, Effectiveness, and Patient-Focused Research

Description of the Strategy

Psychotherapy research has historically been classified into two broad categories: efficacy and effectiveness research. Efficacy and effectiveness research represent unique yet complementary methods for conducting empirical studies on the effects of psychotherapy and have provided an abundance of evidence that psychotherapies of various kinds are effective treatments for a variety of psychological disorders. The primary differences between the two methods revolve around what is sometimes referred to as the “interpretability/generalizability” dilemma. Efficacy research, which seeks to answer the question, “Does the treatment work under well-controlled experimental conditions?” involves clinical trials of specific therapies. The goal of efficacy research is to maximize internal validity through stringent experimental control, thereby allowing researchers to more confidently attribute findings to treatment rather ...

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