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Vol 22, No 3, Article 4, PDF

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Towards a Differentiated Understanding of Treatment Outcome in Psychotherapy: A Qualitative-Quantitative Multiple Single-Case Study:
Volker Tschuschke, Agnes von Wyl, Aureliano Crameri, Margit Koemeda-Lutz & Peter Schulthess

Abstract
This paper discusses the question of what should be considered treatment success based on detailed investigation of 14 single cases of long-term therapies in a hypothesis-generating study using objective, subjective, quantitative, and qualitative data from clients’, therapists’, and researchers’ perspectives. Treatment outcome in psychotherapy cannot be judged from objective data derived from outcome measures alone. Qualitative and quantitative information from clients’ histories, personal backgrounds, detailed analyses of process-outcome relationships of relevant therapeutic factors, and therapists’ perspectives on the treatment processes all contribute to a more differentiated picture. Chronifcation of psychological problems and severity of clients’ structural psychological deficits significantly moderated a classification of outcome groups based on clients’ test results. Treatment outcome in psychotherapy should be classified using integrated knowledge that is based on major relevant client personality variables, subjective perspectives of the therapists and the clients, and objective treatment data on process-outcome relationships.
Keywords: Outcome – success – psychotherapy – process-outcome research – quantitative research – qualitative research.

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