A Naturalistic Study of Psychotherapy

The Medical Outcomes Study Approach

Published in: Cost-Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: A Guide For Practitioners, Researchers, and Policymakers / Edited by N.E. Miller, K.M. Magruder (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 52-62

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1999

by Lisa S. Meredith, Roland Sturm, Kenneth B. Wells

The Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) is an observational study designed to compare the processes and outcomes in clinicians' practice styles and patient outcomes in different health care systems in three geographic sites. This chapter describes the MOS approach to conceptualizing and evaluating the use of psychotherapy for depression in typical practice settings. The authors characterize psychotherapy as typically provided, including all forms of usual counseling, discusses what has been learned about psychotherapy utilization, and provide evidence for its cost-effective use. They conclude by suggesting what the psychotherapeutic findings of the MOS imply for mental health policy.

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