Do Clinical Measures Improve Therapy/Counseling?

October 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM

The short answer is: absolutely.

Why wait until a client leaves your agency to find out what went wrong.  With feedback-informed treatment (FIT), clinicians/therapists get feedback session by session.

The reason why gathering feedback is not standard practice is, sadly, implementation tends to lag behind innovation and new best-practices.  Yet, several peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that introducing feedback into any psychotherapeutic practice dramatically improves results.  In fact, according to the medical journal, Psychotherapy Research:

"When [FIT is] implemented, the risk of patient deterioration is significantly decreased. At the same time, effect sizes are enhanced, and in some extreme cases tripled."

Think of it as simply getting feedback from your customer, not unlike a suggestion box at a restaurant or an online review.  If, for example, a number of customers left one-star reviews, saying that the food consistently came out cold, wouldn't the restaurant change its approach?  The restaurateur would then ensure that the food comes out of the kitchen much warmer, satisfying customer expectations and improving the overall experience. It's more complex in a psychotherapeutic setting, sure, but clinical practices can benefit in the same way by utilizing feedback specifically designed to gauge clients' state-of-mind to improve overall care.

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Listening to customers is critical in every field, and this is also so in psychotherapy.  If, for example, a child is struggling with their therapist/counselor, the agency will want to know this before the child drops out and is possibly faced with an abusive situation once again.  In 2011, a meta-analysis of practitioners was conducted by researchers working for the medical journal Psychotherapy.  They compared those using feedback in their practice to those who don't and yielded this result:

"For the treatment-as-usual vs. feedback groups, with an odds ratio indicating that the feedback groups were 3.5-times more likely to achieve reliable change."  And, "the number of psychotherapy patients who deteriorate can be cut in half by use of [FIT]."

Both these studies cite that perceived technical barriers and a lack of understanding the importance of feedback, limit implementation preventing practitioners from using FIT.  But they also note:

"If adoption and implementation were a simple matter of combining evidence with a practicable methodology, then (FIT) would not only be known and accepted, but widely used." MyOutcomes believes the same, and through MyOutcomes, it's never been easier to integrate FIT into practices.

Psychotherapy Research continues by noting that, "technological advances now enable practitioners to quickly and efficiently administer reliable and valid measures, track progress and receive individualized feedback for their clients in real time."

MyOutcomes' technology implements two integral measures electronically--the Session Rating Scale (SRS) and the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS).  The scales can be filled out in minutes directly after a session or at a client's convenience through a link sent via e-mail or SMS.  And, like the restaurateur, the therapist/counselor can utilize feedback to improve quality of care and can rest assured that doing so is backed by scientific research. 

Click here to see how you can integrate MyOutcomes FIT into your practice, and thus, dramatically improve your results.