Does psychotherapy research inform treatment decisions in private practice?



Psychologists in independent practice (N = 591) were surveyed regarding their approach to treatment decisions, specifically the use of research on empirically supported treatments (ESTs) to inform practice. All participants received a case study of a patient with panic disorder, and half were randomly assigned to receive a research summary on evidence-based treatments for panic disorder (cognitive–behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy). Practitioners reported that they rely primarily on clinical experiences to inform treatment decisions, although they often consult EST literature. Those who received the research summary were significantly more likely to report they would use an EST. These results indicate that providing information about ESTs can impact practice. Although this sample was more positive about EST research than clinicians are often depicted to be, this study indicates an enduring research–practice gap in clinical psychology. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 63: 267–281, 2007.