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About the Play Therapy Outcome Research Database

The Evidence-Based Child Therapy site was developed out of an effort to ensure that professionals, parents, and others concerned with the mental health and welfare of children are able to access accurate, peer-reviewed research findings relevant to their interests and needs. The overarching goal of this website is to provide greater visibility for the evidence base for play therapy interventions and provide a venue for disseminating research on a global scale.

Outcome Research Database

This database aims to include all available play therapy intervention outcome research from 1995 to the present published or translated into English. Intervention must meet the definition of play therapy and outcomes must demonstrate credible quantitative methods and analyses for inclusion in the database.

Requirements for inclusion:

  • Intervention must meet the definition of play therapy.
  • The research report has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or outlet.
  • The research report is based on credible quantitative research methods and analyses including randomized controlled trials, nonrandomized quasi-experimental, single-case experimental design, and single-group repeated measures.
  • The research report has been published in or translated into English.
teacher and little girl black with blocks
Database Exclusion

Each of the research reports included in the database are independently coded by at least two experts in both play therapy and research methods. Based on coder agreement in meeting inclusion criteria, the research report is added to the database. When research reports do not meet inclusion criteria, they are excluded from the database.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Intervention is not clearly defined or is delivered inconsistently from the described intervention.
  • Measurement instruments lack validity and/or reliability for the sample being studied.
  • Data is missing or inaccurately reported.
  • Statistical means and/or effect sizes are not provided or cannot be calculated from data provided.
  • Statistical analyses methods are inappropriately matched to the methods or invalid based on lack of power or meeting statistical assumption requirements.
Play Therapy Research Database

The Play Therapy Research Database was originally developed by Dr. Sue Bratton and her research team including Eric Dafoe, Alyssa Swan, Kristie Opiola, Damian McClintock, & Gustavo Barcenas. The database is currently maintained by the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas.

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Please inform us of play therapy outcome research not included in this database. Your feedback is welcomed.

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