For far too long, the field of mental health held a stigma within our society. Many people felt judged or ostracized for discussing their mental health problems, and that made it more difficult to seek out the treatment they needed. Luckily, that stigma is slowly lifting, and more people are reaching out for help.
As the mental health field continues to evolve, new manners of measuring the success of treatments have arisen. One of the more popular ones today is psychological rating scales, and if you’re a mental health provider, they can be extremely beneficial to your practice.
How do rating scales work in psychology?
Measuring how successful mental health treatments are for individual patients is a challenge most professionals in the field face. Every person is different, and therefore the approach to helping them heal must also vary to be effective. This makes it difficult to standardize treatments and accurately measure success. That’s where rating scales can help.
They consist of a questionnaire that asks patients to assign scores to people or items along some numerical dimension, such as how much they agree with an attitude statement of frequency of occurrence. Practitioners can use the quantitative data accumulated from that questionnaire to tailor their therapeutic approach to each patient.
These rating scales can be used for different purposes. You could use it to discern how effective a client feels their treatment has been and whether or not they have experienced an improvement in their perspective. This is called an Outcome Rating Scale (ORS), and it’s been proven to be a reliable and valid therapeutic instrument that can easily and effectively be incorporated into any therapist-client session.
You can also use a Session Rating Scale. It’s similar to the ORS, but it focuses specifically on the approach to a patient’s treatment. Using the data collected from this scale, therapists can better understand what approach works best and whether or not they fully understand the patient’s problems, goals, and preferred method of treatment. Regardless of which scale, or combination of scales, you use, your patients will benefit greatly.
How do rating scales help patients?
A better understanding.
Opening up about mental health problems can overwhelm many patients, especially if they feel like they aren’t being heard properly. These systems help address that problem. It allows patients to provide tangible data about any improvements, or lack thereof, in their perspective, and it helps them express what methodologies have been most effective for them.
More personalized treatments.
When a therapist has the types of qualitative data provided by rating scales, they’ll have a better understanding of what’s working for a patient and what isn’t proving to be as effective. Equipped with that knowledge, the provider can then customize their approach to each individual patient. This is incredibly helpful, because what works for one individual might not help another, and the therapist will now have clear proof of that idea.
Ultimately, therapists simply want to help their patients improve their mental health, and that’s precisely what these scales help them do. Being able to ensure that the patient feels truly heard and having the ability to customize your approach allows you to treat your patients and more easily improve their overall well-being.
Do you want to learn more about rating scales in psychology?
Then reach out to the team of experts at MyOutcomes. For more than 20 years, we’ve dedicated our lives to developing innovations in applied behavioral sciences, and our award-winning team has pioneered the use of intuitive multimedia technology to enhance health sciences. You can learn more about our services online, or contact us today to request your free trial.