Statistical packages and clinical psychology research

Dave Peck (Lead / Corresponding author), Mike Dow, William Goodall

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Research is widely regarded as an integral and important part of the work of clinical psychologists in the UK (British Psychological Society, 2013). However, several studies have indicated that only a minority of clinical psychologists in the US and in the UK have published research in peer reviewed journals (Norcross, Karpiak, & Santoro, 2005; Thomas, Turpin, & Meyer, 2002). Moreover, only a minority of staff who teach on clinical psychology programmes are research active (Newman & McKenzie, 2011).
There are many bureaucratic barriers to conducting research in NHS clinical psychology departments, many of which have been outlined by Peck & Jones (2004). An additional more practical reason for low research activity may be poor access to general statistical packages. There are many commercial packages available (e.g. SPSS, Minitab, Stata) but they tend to be expensive to purchase initially, and annual subscriptions can be high. At a time of financial constraints in the NHS, purchasing such packages by clinical psychology services is likely to prove problematic. One solution to this problem may be to use some of the many free statistical packages on the Internet. It is not known how much use is made of free statistical packages in UK clinical psychology, nor how useful they are perceived to be. Accordingly a survey was conducted to examine these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Psychology Forum
Issue number284
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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