Service user and clinician perspectives on the use of outcome measures in psychological therapy
Thew GR., Fountain L., Salkovskis PM.
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2015. While the benefits of routine outcome measurement have been extolled and to some degree researched, it is surprising that service user opinions on this common therapy practice have largely not been investigated. This study aimed to assess service users' experiences of completing measures during psychological therapy, with a view to exploring how therapists can maximize how helpful measures are in therapy. Fifteen participants completed surveys about the use of measures in their current episode of care. Ten clinicians also completed a survey about their use of, and views about, measures. Results showed that despite mixed experiences in how measures were explained and used, service users showed generally favourable attitudes towards their use in therapy, with them being perceived as most helpful when well integrated into sessions by their therapists. Clinicians reported using a wide range of measures, and generally endorsed positive beliefs about measures more strongly than negative ones. Implications for clinical practice, service development, and further research are discussed.