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Sjödin, C. (2001). Introduction to a Workshop: How to Apply the Terms Evidence-Based Medicine and Quality Assurance in Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytical Therapy. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 10(3-4):179-180.

(2001). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 10(3-4):179-180

Introduction to a Workshop: How to Apply the Terms Evidence-Based Medicine and Quality Assurance in Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytical Therapy

Christer Sjödin, M.D.

Evidence-based medicine and quality assurance are steering instruments with growing importance in the health care system. This is of course connected to an increasing awareness of costs. These steering instruments affect the psychoanalytical field, even if they are foreign to most analysts.

In Sweden a method for quality assurance is about to be established in the psychotherapeutic field in a way that is congruent with our field and that strengthens the professional integrity of the analyst. This method has also been accepted by colleagues in other medical disciplines as for instance psychiatry and by the official Swedish health authorities. Regarding evidence-based medicine the situation is different. It is a method that has been connected to statistical methods, to large randomised studies and to meta-analyses of these studies. In our field, results from such studies must be supplemented. We need to present the current situation of psychotherapeutic outcome research. But we must be aware that these studies alone do not give a correct description, since the development of our field has always been based on the study of individual cases. Psychoanalysts are more interested in the patient as a subject than as an object, more interested in the particular than in the general. Furthermore, we lack a common taxonomy. Taken together this makes the transformation of experience from the clinical practice into statistical figures difficult.

A better base for decision-making in our field could be acquired by paying closer attention to clinical experience and to the testimony of all the patients who have benefited from psychoanalytical treatment.

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