How to Monitor Progress with Feedback Informed Treatments

May 3, 2021 at 4:00 AM

As the stigma that surrounded mental health issues for so long continues to fade away, an increasing number of people are now starting to seek the care they need. This is especially true now after mental health problems were only exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic that left so many people affected. As such, mental healthcare professionals are continually seeking new ways to provide a positive and measurable impact on their patients’ lives.

One development that is proving to be quite effective is the use of feedback informed treatment methodologies. By using repeated assessments, therapists can track their patients’ progress and readjust their strategies accordingly to achieve optimal results. Read on to learn more about how this approach works and the many benefits it provides.

How are feedback informed treatments helpful in the field?

While there are many different forms of feedback informed treatments, many of them provide the same overarching benefits to both the healthcare provider and the patients they treat. These are just some of the ways they can benefit everyone involved:

Providers will have proof that their treatments are working.

Unlike physical medicine, which has clear and tangible outcomes, dealing with mental health issues isn’t quite as straightforward. Oftentimes, it’s difficult for a doctor or therapist to know with certainty whether or not their solutions are actually working. By using informed feedback, though, practitioners have insights that show how effective a chosen course of action has been.

Patients receive more personalized treatment options.

There are numerous ways to improve a person’s behavioral and mental health, and some options aren’t as effective for particular individuals as others. Informed feedback allows providers to measure the success of a specific treatment option. If the feedback indicates that route isn’t working, the treatment can be altered to improve progress and catch even the slightest change before it develops into a more serious concern.

Experts will understand when treatment is complete.

Many treatments start by defining clear and measurable goals for the patient, and by tracking their progress with these systems, it’s easier to know when it’s time to stop treatments. Doctors can track their patient’s growth over time, and as they do so, signs that indicate the patient has achieved those goals become more apparent.

Methods to track patients’ progress more effectively.

As stated previously, numerous different informed feedback methods have been created. However, here are MyOutcomes, we have found that two in particular have proven to be powerful, effective, and easy-to-use when combined with our proprietary technology.

Outcome Rating Scale.

The Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) has proven to be a reliable and valid therapeutic instrument for more than two decades. The ORS can take as little as one minute to administer at the beginning or end of each therapeutic session, and it’ll give providers detailed feedback on the patient’s perceptions of their progress.

It uses four sliding scales that allow patients to provide a quantifiable measurement of how they are functioning on a personal level, in their interpersonal lives, their general social interactions, and their overall functioning. The great part is that the ORS can be implemented easily and effectively into any therapist-client session.

Session Rating Scale.

More than a decade ago, Dr. Scott D. Miller and Barry L. Duncan developed the Session Rating Scale (SRS), and it has been used widely throughout the industry since then. This valuable tool helps practices improve the likelihood of clients achieving their therapeutic goals by providing evidence that supports the efficacy of the relationship between the therapist and client.

Much like the ORS, the SRS uses a four-item scale the enables the therapist to obtain a quantitative measure of the patient’s view of their relationship. This includes information about whether the goals and topics covered are pertinent, the therapist’s approach compared to the client’s needs, the relationship between the two, and an overall general assessment of the most recent session.

Let MyOutcomes help you better assess your treatments.

Since our inception, our mission here at MyOutcomes has been to simplify in person and telehealth outcome reporting and providing real-time feedback to inform and improve care. We do that by providing access to our industry-leading technology.

We offer products that make it easy to receive the insights you need to hone your feedback informed treatment options and provide the best care possible for your patients. Learn more about our science, or contact us online to request your free trial.