HWS at National Psychology Convention – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS at National Psychology Convention

Assistant Professor of Psychology Jamie Bodenlos was joined by her students Kara Gengarelly ’14, Taylor Milbrath’14 and Elizabeth Szwejbka ’14 at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy’s 47th Annual Convention, which took place in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 21-24.

The HWS group presented “Practicing Clinicians’ Attitudes about Clinical Research: A Qualitative Study,” for which students gathered data as part of Bodenlos’ “Research in Clinical Psychology course.” In this study, Bodenlos and the students researched the types of therapies prevalent in large clinical trials in comparison to those used by practicing therapists.

Their study aimed to examine how therapists view research and empirically supported treatments by conducting key informant interviews with 10 practicing therapists. Students conducted structured, recorded interviews with each participant that lasted about a half hour. Interview content was then transcribed and analyzed using qualitative methods.

The study’s authors concluded that practitioners in their sample found research articles to be useful and saw empirically based treatments as helpful and effective. “Although clinicians stated that research helped guide treatment decisions, most clinicians reported that they relied mostly on clinical expertise and intuition to decide which treatments to implement,” they wrote. “Generally, they saw the relationship between scientists and practitioners as being important but stated that it was disconnected because of communication difficulties and the lack of generalizability of empirical findings to their own practices.”

While at the conference, Bodenlos presented “Development and Validation of the Prescription Drug Attitude Scale,” completed by Bodenlos, Andrew Malordy ’14, Marleah Noonan ’12 and Brian Mistler, a psychologist and coordinator of research and technology for the HWS Center for Counseling and Student Wellness. This study, conducted as part of Malordy’s independent study, focused on the abuse of prescription medications, particularly among college students.

According to their abstract, “Understanding the factors related to the increased use may help college campuses to develop campaigns to discourage such abuse.” The study itself describes the development and validation of a tool to assess attitudes toward prescription drug use among college students, the Prescription Drug Attitude Scale (PDAQ). The PDAQ was found to be a reliable and valid scale that may be used to better understand attitudes towards prescription drugs among college students.

Funds from a Center for Teaching and Learning grant paid for the students’ registration at the conference.