Empirically Supported Psychological Treatments and the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Background: The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) has been developed as an alternative approach to studying psychiatric disorders. The RDoC constructs and units of analysis, from genes up through paradigms, are intended to describe a hierarchy of priority measurements. Several of these have been investigated in the context of empirically-supported treatments, as either moderators or mediators of outcome.

Method: This review considers the available research on the moderating and mediating role of genes, molecules, circuits and physiology in cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) outcome studies for negative valence system conditions.

Findings: Based on the review, research has aspired to identify candidate genes, molecules, circuits and physiological moderators or mediators of treatment, but no definitive tests have been conducted. Instead, several candidate variables have been found that deserve further investigation. Limitations: The available research is based on diagnoses from the DSM, whereas the RDoC initiative endeavors to determine empirically valid taxonomic signs.

Conclusions: The results of this review are discussed in the joint context of developments in empiricallysupported psychological therapy and the specific aims of the RDoC initiative, and conclude with recommendations for future research.

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