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A National Survey of Clinical Psychology Graduate Student Attitudes toward Psychotherapy Treatment Manuals: A Replication Study

Authors: B. Bergström, A. Ladd, A. Jones, L. Rosso, P. Michael


Attitudes toward treatment manuals serve as a meaningful predictor of general attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Despite demonstrating high effectiveness in treating many mental disorders, manualized treatments have been underutilized by practitioners. Thus, one can assess the state of the field regarding the adoption of evidence-based practices by surveying practitioner attitudes towards manualized treatments. This study is an adapted replication that assesses psychology graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments, as a general marker for attitudes towards evidence-based practice. Training programs provide future clinicians with the foundation for critical skills in clinical practice. Research demonstrates that post-graduate continuing education has little to no effect on clinical practice; thus, graduate programs serve as the primary, and often final platform for all future practice. However, there are little empirical data identifying the attitudes and training of graduate students in utilizing manualized treatments. The empirical analysis of this study indicates an increase in positive attitudes among graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments (within the United States), when compared to past surveys of professional psychologists. Findings from this study may inform graduate programs of barriers for students in developing positive attitudes toward manualized treatments and evidence-based practice. This study also serves as a preliminary predictor of the state-of-the field, in regards to professional psychologists attitudes towards evidence-based practice, if attitudes remain stable. This study indicates that the attitudes toward utilizing evidence-based practices, such as treatment manuals, has become more positive since year 2000.

Keywords: Evidence based treatment, Future of clinical science, Manualized treatment, Student attitudes towards evidence based treatments.

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