How can we conduct treatment outcome research?

Michael H. Miner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The publication of a review of the treatment outcome literature by Furby, Weinrott, and Blackshaw in 1989 raised the issue of the failure of research to support adequately the efficacy of treatment for sexual offenders. Now, many years after the publication of Furby et al, there are still major flaws in the outcome research being conducted which have led certain researchers to conclude that we still have no empirical evidence on the effectiveness of sexual offender treatment. Specifically, the current literature has been criticized for reliance on single-group, follow-up only designs and designs that include nonequivalent treatment and comparison groups. These types of designs fail to provide adequate information about treatment outcome due to threats to internal validity and construct validity of putative causes and effects. In this paper, suggestions are made as to how to maximize experimental validity through development of program theories and questions posed about which aspects of treatment are associated with positive and negative outcomes and with whom our interventions work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
JournalSexual Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Outcome research
  • Sexual offenders
  • Study design
  • Treatment of offenders


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