ERIC Number: ED380748
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Comparing Methods of Evaluating Treatment Effects.
This paper examines four common measures of treatment outcomes--ethical standards, statistical analysis, standards of care, and social validation--and explores the inherent problems associated with each. Ethical standards may assure the public that only reasoned professional approaches are used, but the ethical treatment of patients does not mean that they experienced a beneficial change. Statistical analysis, on the other hand, can detect changes, but its primary use in group treatment offers little help to practitioners dealing with individual clients. A standard of care--where all practitioners approach a problem in a certain way--suffers from contradictions in treatment protocol since explicit standards are not available for many clinical problems. One suggested solution is to adopt an established series of steps in providing services. Lastly, social validation, a process which determines how society views the whole spectrum of treatment, faces problems similar to standards of care since normative rates for all clinically significant behaviors are not readily available. The best measure of outcome, it is argued, would use these four indices in concert. By combining measures, counselors can arrive at a more accurate picture of therapeutic effect and begin the process for wide agreement on measuring outcomes. (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A