(p. v) About Programs That Work
Stunning developments in health care have taken place during the last several years, but many of our widely accepted interventions and strategies in mental health and behavioral medicine have been brought into question by research evidence as not only lacking benefit but perhaps inducing harm. Other strategies have been proved effective using the best current standards of evidence, resulting in broad-based recommendations to make these practices more available to the public. Several recent developments are behind this revolution. First, we have arrived at a much deeper understanding of pathology, both psychological and physical, which has led to the development of new, more precisely targeted interventions. Second, our research methodologies have improved substantially, such that we have reduced threats to internal and external validity, making the outcomes more directly applicable to clinical situations. Third, governments around the world and health care systems and policymakers have decided that the quality of care should improve, that it should be evidence based, and that it is in the public’s interest to ensure that this happens (Barlow, 2004; Institute of Medicine, 2001).
Of course, the major stumbling block for clinicians everywhere is the accessibility of newly developed evidence-based psychological interventions. Workshops and books can go only so far in acquainting responsible and conscientious practitioners with the latest behavioral health care practices and their applicability to individual patients. This new series, ProgramsThatWork™, is devoted to communicating these exciting new interventions to clinicians on the front lines of practice.
The manuals and workbooks in this series contain step-by-step, detailed procedures for assessing and treating specific problems and diagnoses. However, this series also goes beyond the books and manuals by providing ancillary materials that will approximate the supervisory process in (p. vi) assisting practitioners in the implementation of these procedures in their practice.
In our emerging health care system, the growing consensus is that evidence-based practice offers the most responsible course of action for the health professional. All behavioral health care clinicians deeply desire to provide the best possible care for their patients. In this series, our aim is to close the dissemination and information gap and make this possible.
This therapist guide and the companion workbook for patients address the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and adolescents. An estimated 2% of children in the United States experience OCD. Left untreated, the disorder can have a significant impact on a child’s daily functioning and a family’s ability to cope. OCD can cause anxiety and distress, and a reduced quality of life. Research has shown that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for childhood OCD. The program outlined in this guide is based on the principles of CBT and is appropriate for children age 8 to 17 years. In addition to addressing the child’s symptoms and behaviors, this program also helps families and loved ones by educating them about OCD and teaching them how to develop more normalized patterns of family interaction and functioning. With the help of a skilled clinician, this comprehensive treatment package can greatly improve the quality of life for children and teens with OCD, as well as their families.
David H. Barlow, Editor-in-Chief