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Behavior Modification

  • Date Submitted: 10/10/2010 01:49 PM
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(a). Does research evidence supports the efficacy and effectiveness of systematic desensitization?
Efficacy and effectiveness are similar but different concepts. According to Pittler and White (1999), the efficacy of therapies refers to how well the intervention does on the highly selected and controlled experimental groups to see if the effects of the treatment are due to the intervention, not to chance or confounding factors. Whereas, the effectiveness of therapies is based on how well the intervention does on patients in real life situations. Both concepts are illustrating the outcome of the therapies, but in different conditions.  
Substantial researches have documented the efficacy and effectiveness of systematic desensitization interventions in the treatment.
Smith and Glass (1977) conducted a mata-anlysis on the efficacy and effectiveness of psychotherapies. They collected examined 400 controlled evaluations of psychotherapy and counseling. Their result revealed that the treated patients are better off than 75% of untreated patients. A few important differences in effectiveness had been established between different types of psychotherapy. The average effect-size of systematic desensitization therapy was .9, the largest average effect size of all therapy types. Whereas the implosive therapy showed a mean effect size of .64, significantly lower than systematic desensitization which was usually for treating phobias. Overall, no difference in effectiveness was observed between behavioral therapies (systematic desensitization, behavior modification) and the nonbehavioral therapies (Rogerian, psychodynamic, rationalemotive, transactional analysis, etc.).
The efficacy of systematic desensitization was examined by Miller and DiPilato’s (1983) study on night mare individuals. Either relaxation or systematic desensitization techniques were used to treated the participants. 32 self-referred adult nightmares sufferers were randomly assigned to 3 conditions:...


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