Sanchez-Sosa, J. J., National University of Mexico, Mexico
One of the medullar tenets of applied science is that interventions aimed at contributing to the solution of numerous socially-relevant problems are effective because they stem from well-researched basic regulatory principles or mechanisms. In principle, there should be no reason for health psychology in general and psychotherapy in particular to function as exceptions to this seemingly natural rule. In the historical context of widely diverse approaches to psychotherapy, a healthy sequence of responsibilities of health/clinical psychologists remains: a) recognizing the relevant features of psychological dysfunction, b) identifying the basic mechanisms underlying psychological complaints, c) selecting or designing research-based appropriate interventions, d) evaluating the clinical/social effects of the implemented interventions, and e) enforcing ethical standards/guidelines along the entire process. The presentation will cover some of these issues within the context of three recent studies: In the first, after analyzing the psychometric properties of an instrument to assess quality of life in HIV-positive patients, QOL was assessed at three different stages of the HIV infection and then the effects of an educational-therapeutic intervention to improve QOL were evaluated. The second examined the effects of nurse training on nurse- patient interaction, on medical and psychological recovery in a hospital's critical care unit. The third analyzed the effects of an intervention on self efficacy and QOL in older adults. Key words: research-based interventions, cognitive-behavioral change, methodology, psychotherapy, health psychology, intensive care, elderly.