Candidates for APA President
To what extent do you believe that there is a gap between clinical research and real-world practice? If there is such a gap, what do you believe accounts for it, and what do you think should be done to address it?
The IOM reports a 15-17-year lag time between discovery of more effective treatments and their integration into practice. We must work to improve this and ensure that the psychosocial-economic-cultural gradient of heath care is appropriately addressed. Effective clinical practice rests on a foundation of best research evidence, good clinical judgment and attention to patient values. Specific treatment techniques account for only 15 percent while the therapy relationship and patient characteristics together account for 70 percent of the variance in treatment outcome. Increasingly effective treatment outcomes will depend upon research and practice that attends to all of these variables.
Given the recent adoption of the Multicultural Guidelines by APA and the role of psychologists as change agents, how do you envision using the guidelines to promote psychology's interests in public policy at the local, state and national level?
Our Code of Ethics calls us to improve the condition of individuals, organizations and society. APA's Multicultural Guidelines call our attention to culture as an aspect of the uniqueness of all individuals. We must advocate for: behavioral health research that explicitly considers ethnicity and culture as variables; culturally competent delivery of behavioral health services; more ethnic-minority students in our education and training programs; organizational policy that addresses changing workforce demographics; and the use of our science to inform decision-makers on issues such as affirmative action, racial profiling, high-stakes testing, IDEA and death penalty litigation.