OUTCOME RATING SCALE: ORS
Outcome Rating Scale (ORS)
For nearly a decade and a half, the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) has repeatedly been demonstrated to be a reliable and valid therapeutic instrument that can be easily and effectively incorporated into in any therapist-client session (e.g. Miller, Duncan, Brown, Sparks, & Claud, 2003; Bringhurst, Watson, Miller, & Duncan, 2006; Campbell & Hemsley, 2009). Further evidence has been accumulating demonstrating the generalizability of the ORS to a variety of clinical populations and settings. For example, couples (Anker, Duncan, & Sparks, 2009), addictions, adolescents, group, and much more.
With MyOutcomes®, the ORS takes less than a minute to administer and results received can then be compared to a predicted score derived from calculations based on data from nearly three quarters of a million administrations. The brevity of administering the ORS makes for an extremely feasible tool that can easily be completed by clients at the beginning of each therapeutic session. Although, feedback per se leads to improved outcomes, it has been demonstrated (Reese, Norsworthy, & Rowlands, 2009) that regular solicitation of feedback is significantly more effective.
Using four visual analog scales, the ORS is an ultra-brief outcome measure that enables clients to provide feedback on their perceptions of their progress in achieving their therapeutic goals. Specifically, the four scales allow the client to provide a quantifiable measure of how they are functioning on a personal level, in their interpersonal relationships e.g., friends and family, their general social interactions, as well as a more global measure of their overall functioning to capture any critical areas not directly measured on the other scales. MyOutcomes® automatically plots each session’s ORS on a continuous graph so that the therapist can determine if the trajectory of change is on course.
Evidence has been accumulating (e.g., APA Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice, 2006; Norcross & Wampold, 2011) that evidence-based practices (EBP) and practice-based evidence (PBE) promote effective outcomes. Any therapist wishing to improve their client outcomes by adopting an EBP or a PBE would be well-advised to incorporate MyOutcomes®’ ORS, along with the SRS, as these two tools, evidenced by their inclusion on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, have been determined by SAMHSA to conform to the standards of an evidence-based practice.