Measurement-based care in psychiatric practice: a policy framework for implementation

J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 Aug;72(8):1136-43. doi: 10.4088/JCP.10r06282whi. Epub 2011 Jan 11.


This article describes the need for measurement-based care (MBC) in psychiatric practice and defines a policy framework for implementation. Although measurement in psychiatric treatment is not new, it is not standard clinical practice. Thus a gap exists between research and practice outcomes. The current standards of psychiatric clinical care are reviewed and illustrated by a case example, along with MBC improvements. Measurement-based care is defined for clinical practice along with limitations and recommendations. This article provides a policy top 10 list for implementing MBC into standard practice, including establishing clear expectations and guidelines, fostering practice-based implementation capacities, altering financial incentives, helping practicing doctors adapt to MBC, developing and expanding the MBC science base, and engaging consumers and their families. Measurement-based care as the standard of care could transform psychiatric practice, move psychiatry into the mainstream of medicine, and improve the quality of care for patients with psychiatric illness.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Disease Management
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride
  • Female
  • Health Plan Implementation / organization & administration*
  • Health Plan Implementation / standards*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Medication Adherence / psychology
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Standard of Care / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thiophenes / adverse effects
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Thiophenes
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride