Drinane, J. M., Owen, J., & Kopta, S. M.
Racial/ethnic disparities in psychotherapy: Does the outcome matter?
This study examined disparities in client psychotherapy outcomes within counselor’ caseloads that occur on the basis of clients’ racial/ethnic minority status. The sample was comprised of the caseloads of 324 therapists who treated a total of 23,168 clients across a number of clinical sites (mostly university counseling centers). Each of the therapists treated at least five White and five Racial or Ethnic Minority clients (REM). Client data were collected at the beginning of each therapy session utilizing the Behavioral Health Measure-20 (BHM-20; Kopta & Lowry, 2002). This measure is comprised of three subscales and each represents a distinct therapy outcome (well-being, symptoms, and life functioning). Disparities were assessed for each outcome domain. Results suggested that therapists did not differ in their abilities to facilitate change in well-being and life functioning across White and REM clients. However, there were significant disparities within therapists’ caseloads between White and REM clients on the symptoms outcome. Some therapists produced reductions in symptoms of equal magnitude with their White and REM clients, while others had greater variability and exhibited greater amounts of symptom change with either White clients or REM clients.Back