Real Clinical Trials (RCT') -- Panels of Psychological Inquiry for Transforming Anecdotal Data into Clinical Facts and Validated Judgments: Introduction to a Pilot Test with the Case of "Anna"
Keywords:Panels of Psychological Inquiry, quasi-judicial method, jury hearing, case study, clinical case study
This article reports another stage in the development of the Panel of Psychological Inquiry (the "Panel") model for evaluating case-study knowledge claims. Inspired by Bromley’s (1986) quasi-judicial model of clinical case studies, the methodology for evaluating clinical case-studies involves seven components: (1) standards of evidence for anecdotal data; (2) participants (judges, advocate, critic, witnesses); (3) pre-hearing review of the written case study and specific advocate claims and critic counterclaims; (4) collecting physical evidence and interviewing potential witnesses related to the case; (5) a sixteen step hearing procedure; (6) the judges’ opinion; and (7) appeal. This article begins with a rationale for and background on the Panel model, followed by an introduction to a specific pilot test of it. In the pilot text, a five-member Panel consisting of senior practitioners and academics conducted a five-hour hearing on the treatment of “Anna,” an 18-year-old, first year college student with a six year history of anxiety, panic, depression, and persistent self-cutting, who was seen in therapy by a clinical psychology graduate student. The judges evaluated five knowledge claims about the severity of psychopathology; relationship of the symptom to defenses; therapeutic orientation; outcome; and role of counter-transference in the case. This introduction orients readers to five other papers associated with the pilot test: (a) a systematic case study of Anna's treatment (Podetz, 2008, 2011a), which was part of the "physical evidence" of the case and which constituted the author's master's thesis; (2) and (3), the arguments that the advocate and critic (Altman, 2011 and DiGiorgianni, 2011, respectively), presented to the Panel of Inquiry, as well as some comments about their roles and experiences (not discussed at the Inquiry); (4) the experience of the therapist (Podetz, 2011b) in presenting to the Panel of Inquiry; and (5) the findings of the Panel of Inquiry (Miller et al., 2011).
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