Self-reported expectations for the outcome of treatments for depression : the relationship between outcome expectations and characteristics of subjects and of treatment rationales



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Client expectations for the results of treatment have been related to treatment outcome, but little is known of the ways in vftiich outcome expectations relate to other aspects of the psychotherapeutic process. The relationship between client expectations and characteristics of the treatment situation, and between expectatiais and other client characteristics, were explored. In this investigation, 320 introductory psychology students were asked to rate their expectations regarding six current treatments for depression. Each subject read and rated all six treatment descriptions. Half the subjects rated treatments presented in ordinary language, viiile the remaining subjects rated the same treatments described using technical terms. A number of subject characteristics were assessed. A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a significant main effect due to treatments (F (5,313) = 80.56, p < .01), but no effects due to the language manipulation or to interaction between the independent variables. Regression analyses revealed few ccHisistent relationships between reported expectations and the subject characteristics measured. It was concluded that seme treatments for depression are perceived as being more helpful than others, and that different treatments are preferred by different individuals. The iirplicaticms of these findings for the development of treatment programs and for matching clients to treatments is discussed.



Depression, Mental health treatment, Psychotherapy patients, Patient satisfaction