The feasibility of routine outcome measures in mental health

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1999 May;34(5):243-9. doi: 10.1007/s001270050139.


Background: Standardised outcome measures are not being used in routine mental health care.

Method: The importance of routine use of standardised outcome measures is argued, and reasons for their lack of use suggested.

Results: One reason for standardised outcome measures not being used routinely is the lack of appropriate instruments. This property of being suitable for routine use is often called feasibility, but there is no consensus about the meaning of feasibility, or how it should be measured. We propose a definition of feasibility as a psychometric property of a standardised outcome measure, provide criteria for assessing feasibility, and then present a framework for changing practice to increase the routine use of standardised outcome measures.

Conclusions: If mental health care is to maximise outcome, then more attention needs to be paid both to the process of developing and to facilitating the routine clinical use of feasible outcome measures.

MeSH terms

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / standards*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics / standards*