Document Detail

How would we know if psychotherapy were harmful?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20063907     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Patients can be harmed by treatment or by the decisions that are made about those treatments. Although dramatic examples of harmful effects of psychotherapy have been reported, the full scope of the problem remains unclear. The field currently lacks consensus about how to detect harm and what to do about it when it occurs. In this article, we define the ways in which treatment (or the inferences about treatment) can do harm and discuss factors that complicate efforts to detect harm. We also recommend methods to detect and understand harm when it occurs, drawing from and modifying many of the same strategies that are used to detect benefit. Specifically, we highlight the value of establishing independent systems for monitoring untoward events in clinical practice, reporting descriptive case studies and qualitative research, and making use of information from randomized clinical trials, including examining potential active ingredients, mechanisms, moderators, and a broad range of outcomes measured over time. We also highlight the value of promoting discussion in the field about standards for defining and identifying harm.
Sona Dimidjian; Steven D Hollon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American psychologist     Volume:  65     ISSN:  1935-990X     ISO Abbreviation:  Am Psychol     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-01-12     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370521     Medline TA:  Am Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  21-33     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0345, USA.
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