Why measuring results matters

By: Dr. Cheri Shapiro, Director

Greetings to all of you! I certainly hope you and yours are safe and well.

Today I wanted to expand a bit on how we can maintain connection with clients and improve retention by using client feedback.  Many of you may be familiar with the Session Rating Scale (SRS) and the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS); when used together they form the Partners for Change Outcome Management System.  This evidence-based system of client feedback involves asking clients to report on functional outcome areas at the beginning of each session, and asking the client to rate each session at the end with regard to progress and the therapeutic alliance.

Both the SRS and ORS have only four questions each, takes just minutes to complete, and evidence shows they are reliable and valid.  Most importantly, collecting systematic feedback from clients has been demonstrated to improve both outcomes and retention in services.  

While it may be daunting to ask for and receive direct feedback from clients, obtaining this information session by session and holding meaningful conversations on progress is one way to demonstrate equality in partnership and to assure that both helper and client are on the same page.  For helpful implementation details for PCOMS, see https://betteroutcomesnow.com/resources/

If you wish to read a journal article, see: Duncan, B. L., & Reese, R. J. (2015). The Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) revisiting the client’s frame of reference. Psychotherapy52(4), 391–401.

Happy measuring!!! 

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