How might we go about assessing and, where needed, improving the quality of psychotherapy practice delivered in usual care? Given the numbers of mental health specialists practicing in the U.S. (recently estimated at one-half million), the diversity of professional training and licensure that establish credentials to practice therapy, a broad range of practice settings, and variations in the types of individuals treated, the task of answering this question seems daunting (Institute of Medicine 2006). This special issue includes a range of studies that have made first steps toward tackling this challenging task. Not surprisingly, given the groundbreaking nature of this research, these papers overwhelmingly raise more questions than they answer. A large part of the value of these studies is lessons learned that inform next steps to assess and improve the quality of psychotherapy in usual care.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.