What do parents and carers think about routine outcome measures and their use? A focus group study of CAMHS attenders

Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012 Jan;17(1):65-79. doi: 10.1177/1359104510391859. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Currently service user involvement in routine outcomes monitoring has been minimal, particularly in Children's services. There needs to be a more sustained effort to involve service users because of the valuable information that they could provide for service development and improvement. Focus groups were conducted with service users, including parents, carers and young people from a London CAMHS. Their views were elicited on routine outcomes monitoring in general, three specific approaches and suggestions about what else might be important to capture when measuring outcomes. The focus groups raised a number of issues pertinent to routine outcomes monitoring in general, including the reliability of answers, the need for the measures to reflect more than just a tick-box approach and that different people will have different perspectives. Analysis also focused on feedback about the three specific measures discussed. It is important that service users are involved in the process of outcome measurement, from the development of measures, to their application in therapeutic encounters and in service development. Outcome monitoring needs to become a more collaborative process in order that services are measuring what service users think is important, as most would agree that a service should deliver the outcomes that its users want to see.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / standards
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards
  • Community Mental Health Services / standards
  • Female
  • Focus Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*