- Wei-Chin Hwang
- Stanley Sue
No study has investigated whether therapists considered to be more culturally competent by some criteria actually are more effective in treating ethnic minority clients than less culturally competent therapists. There also is virtually no knowledge of the extent to which evidence-based treatments are practiced in mental health systems. Dr. Wei-Chin Hwang leads the Therapist Factors Research Program, which conducts the first of these empirical tests. Using a prospective design, the research determines if therapist factors or characteristics associated with cultural competence and the use of evidence-based practices interact or independently affect treatment outcomes for mental health outpatient clients. This study will make major contributions to disparities research in several ways. First, it will determine if certain types of therapist characteristics, presumed to be cultural competent in nature, are actually predictive of treatment outcomes. Second, the research determines if therapist cultural competence contributes to treatment outcomes above and beyond the effects of other therapist factors. Third, the research may also yield some important interactions between therapist factors and the use of evidence-based treatments in predicting treatment outcomes.