Predicted Change in a Client Feedback System

| April 22, 2015

Researchers have found that providing clinicians with feedback about client progress relative to the norm can improve outcomes for clients. Clinicians can use this vital information as a training tool and to improve their responsiveness to a lack of clinical change.

Those seeking a client feedback system need to look for instruments that are feasible for continual use and will not lead to administration or scoring fatigue for client or clinician alike. In addition, the unpredictability of unscheduled terminations (i.e., dropouts) necessitates regular administrations of short outcome measures. Giving clients a long measure every third, fifth, or tenth session, as some have advised, will likely lead to confusion in accurately capturing a record of a therapist’s outcomes (due to many clients’ last available score on the measure not being captured at their actual last session) and in alerting them to potential problems.

MyOutcomes’ two four-items scales are designed for use in every session. When the client completes the measure, MyOutcomes instantly plots the score on a chart and sets a predicted “change trajectory” by comparing the score to a large normative sample based on thousands of administrations of the Outcome Rating Scale. This allows for comparisons of a client’s reported progress to the average course of change of clients with similar scores in the sample pool.

The change trajectory shows typical change patterns at the 25, 50th, and 75th percentile. To be considered “on track,” clients should score in the 50th percentile or higher. These graphs can greatly facilitate discussions between clients and therapists about the process and progress of treatment. They can also help amplify and clarify subtle patterns of change and improve clinicians’ understanding of what’s happening in the lives of their clients, resulting in improved outcomes and fewer drop-outs and no-shows. To learn more about MyOutcomes’ change trajectory graphs, watch this short video.

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