Evidence that therapy works in clinically representative conditions


This article reports a secondary analysis of past therapy outcome meta- analysis. Fifteen meta-analysts provided effect sizes from 56 studies in previous reviews that met 1 of 3 increasingly stringent levels of criteria for clinical representativeness. The effect sizes were synthesized and compared with results from the original meta-analyses. Effect sizes from more clinically representative studies are the same size at all 3 criteria levels as in past meta-analyses. Almost no studies exist that meet the most stringent level of criteria. Results are interpreted cautiously because of controversy about what criteria best capture the notion of clinical representativeness, because so few experiments have tested therapy in clinical conditions, and because other models for exploring the generalizability of therapy outcome research to clinical conditions might yield different results.

Publication Title

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology