Methodological Issues Article Review

Methodological Issues Article Review

Read the following articles, which can be accessed through the ProQuest database in the Ashford University Library:

  • Evidence-based practice in psychology: Implications for research and research training.
  • Practice-based evidence: Back to the future.
  • Psychological treatments: Putting evidence into practice and practice into evidence.

Write a three- to four-page article review in which you discuss methodological issues unique to psychological research and analyze basic applied psychological research relevant to the treatment of mental disorders. In your paper, you will discuss the topics of evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence and their roles in providing practitioners useful information for making decisions about appropriate mental health treatments.

In the body of your paper:

  1. Discuss the methodological issues and challenges that are unique to psychological research investigating effective treatments for psychological disorders.

  2. Explain the concepts of evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence and identify controversies associated with these concepts.

  3. Select one treatment modality associated with a disorder in the DSM-5 and present at least one example of pertinent, applied psychological research investigating the efficacy of the treatment modality. Discuss the findings of the research. Locate at least one peer-reviewed article that contains a research study on a treatment modality to fulfill this requirement. You may not use any of the course materials.

  4. Take the point of view of Bauer (2007) to analyze the article(s) you selected in #3. Using this author’s arguments from his Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology: Implications for Research and Research Training article, what would be his evaluation of the article(s) you selected?

  5. Take the point of view of Brendtro, Mitchell, & Doncaster (2011) and analyze the article(s) you selected in #3. Using these authors’ arguments from their Practice-Based Evidence: Back to the Future article, what would be their evaluation of the article(s) you selected?

  6. Discuss ways in which an evidence-based practice model might provide practitioners useful information for making decisions about the degree to which the treatment modality you selected in #3 is an appropriate treatment for the disorder you specified.

  7. Conclude your paper with a discussion of your opinion of the utility of evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence for practitioners needing to identity effective treatments for psychological disorders.

  8. Utilize a minimum of two additional peer-reviewed journal articles published within the last five years (not including the course text or any of the course materials). At least one article must be used to satisfy the requirement in #3, and at least one article must also be included to support your arguments. All sources must be documented in APA style, as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center.


Methodological Issues Article Review

There exist gaps between science and practice in health and psychological domains. Practitioners have for long sought ways of bridging the existing gaps with little success. The aim of practitioners is to improve patient outcomes by using the most effective models. Currently, two models inform practitioners during practice. These include the evidence-based models and practice-based models. Controversies exist over the application of either model. This leaves practitioners at a dilemma over which model to follow. This paper examines evidence-based and practice-based models, the various controversies surrounding the models, and concludes by making a recommendation of the most effective model that practitioners can adopt.

There are certain methodological issues and challenges that are unique to psychological research. One of the challenges is inadequate training. The current methodology courses evaluate traditional knowledge while ignoring contemporary skills or knowledge relevant in conducting clinical trials (Bauer, 2007). For instance, there is need to include training on how to conduct clinical trials methodology that adhere to CONSORT recommendations. Another issue pertains to methodological trade-offs. This might occur when, for instance, the researchers are unable to garner the right sample size. Failure to use the appropriate sample size simply means that the findings lack statistical significance and are not generalizable (Bauer, 2007). Another issue lies in the inadequate training and skills in research methods. Most students receive training in quantitative and qualitative research methods, while very few know how to apply methods such as focus groups, personal histories, convergent interviewing, and to an extent systematic reviews.

Evidence-based practice refers to a process in care delivery whereby decision-making is solely based on best evidence presented (Bauer, 2007). In this process, researchers examine the best treatments or procedures and apply these in daily practice. There are three pillars in evidence-based practice. These include best evidence in making key decisions, clinical expertise (relating to the physician), and client expectations. On the other hand, practice-based evidence involves focusing on the specific needs of an individual while providing therapy (Brendtro, Mitchell, Doncaster, 2011). The controversy in evidence-based practice relates to the application of research evidence. There is concern that there is a wide gap between science and practice. For instance, it is not easy to change the behavior of practitioners simply because of new evidence. The controversy associated with practice-based evidence relates to the amount of evidence that is appropriate for psychological treatments especially when applying randomized controlled trials. Dozois (2013) argue that evidence-based practice promotes rigidity and numerous restrictions.

A disorder in the DSM-5 is obsessive-compulsive disorder. The treatment modality for this disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy. Sánchez-Meca, Rosa-Alcázar, Iniesta-Sepúlveda, and Rosa-Alcázar (2014) conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacological options in the treatment of obsessive compulsive behavior among children. The results indicate that both cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacological treatments are effective in reducing obsessive-compulsive behavior. Nonetheless, the findings indicate that cognitive behavioral therapy had a higher effect size compared with the pharmacological options. A meta-analysis of literature by Olatunji, Davis, Powers, and Smits, (2013) supports the study results. The findings of this study indicate that cognitive behavioral therapy has a high effect in treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Bauer would give a positive evaluation of the article by Sánchez-Meca et al. (2014). This article provides evidence-based practice for cognitive behavioural therapy by conducting a systematic review of literature. Evidence-based practice involves empirically supported treatments (Bauer, 2007). It involves the use of current evidence to effect changes in clinical practice. Both articles conduct systematic reviews of existing literature to identify best evidence that can be applied to clinical practice.  The articles utilize systematic reviews that are a rich source of information and thus critical in psychological research. According to Bauer (2007), the only way for psychology to contribute to evidence-based practice is by researchers learning and implementing the systematic review skills in their studies. Since this study is similar to Olatunji et al. (2013) study, Bauer would hold similar sentiments as above. This study utilizes a meta-analysis of literature, which according to Bauer (2013) is the basis for future psychological research.

Bendtro, Mitchell, and Doncaster (2011) would give a negative review of the two articles. This is because according to them, evidence-based model is a flawed model of evaluating best practice in clinical practice. The three argue that practice-based evidence is the key in the field of psychology. According to Bendtro, Mitchell, and Doncaster (2011), the articles ought to utilize a practice-base model, which focuses on the individual needs rather than on evaluating treatments in general. The focus of practice-based models is on individual needs. It recognizes the fact that same treatments may not apply to all individuals. The articles focus on evidence-based practice, which involves the examination of the efficacy of treatment methods among individuals. As such, this would lead to a negative evaluation of the articles.

The evidence-based model can provide crucial information to practitioners about the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy. The evidence-based model provides a preponderance of evidence showing the effectiveness of the particular intervention. Practitioners relying on the evidence-based model can be able to tell the efficacy level of the particular intervention (Wallace & Vanhook, 2015). In such a case, it is possible to make predictions regarding the likely treatment rates of a particular group of patients. Using evidence-based models enables practitioners to give priority to the interventions that have a higher efficacy level. For instance, in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, there are different interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy and pharmacological interventions. By utilizing the evidence-based model, a psychological professional can be able to tell the most effective intervention. Evidence-based practice can enable practitioners to sort various interventions into different categories basing on the problem issues they solve (Wallace & Vanhook, 2015). Lastly, evidence-based practice can enable practitioners learn about important protocols they might use while applying particular interventions.

To sum, evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence are critical in shaping clinical interventions. Evidence-based practice refers to making of critical decisions basing on research evidence. On the other hand, practice-based evidence refers to focusing on the specific needs of an individual and looking for ways to address these needs. Although there various controversies surrounding evidence-based practice, it still remains fundamental in clinical practice. It is worth noting that evidence-based practice involves the application of those interventions, which has been show as highly effective in achieving certain outcomes. As such, practitioners seeking to identify effective treatments or procedures for psychological conditions will still rely more on evidence-based practice in search for the answers.


Bauer, R.M. (2007). Evidence-based practice in psychology: Implications for research and           research training. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63(7), 685–694. Retrieved from the         EBSCOhost database.

Brendtro, L.K., Mitchell, M.L., & Doncaster, J. (2011).  Practice-based evidence: Back to the      future. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 19(4), 5-7. Retrieved from the ProQuest   database.

Dozois, D.J.A. (2013). Psychological treatments: Putting evidence into practice and practice into             evidence. Canadian Psychology, 54(1), 1-11. Retrieved from the ProQuest database.

Olatunji, B. O., Davis, M. L., Powers, M. B., & Smits, J. A. J. (2013). Cognitive-behavioral         therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A meta-analysis of treatment outcome and             moderators. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47(1), 33-41.   doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.08.020

Sánchez-Meca, J., Rosa-Alcázar, A. I., Iniesta-Sepúlveda, M., & Rosa-Alcázar, Á. (2014).           Differential efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacological treatments for          pediatric obsessive–compulsive disorder: A meta-analysis. Journal of Anxiety    Disorders, 28(1), 31-44. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.10.007

Wallace, R., & Vanhook, P. (2015). The importance of evidence-based practice. Tennessee          Nurse / Tennessee Nurses Association, 78(4), 11.



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