Does a continuous feedback system improve psychotherapy outcome?

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2009 Dec;46(4):418-31. doi: 10.1037/a0017901.


Using outcome data on a continual basis to monitor treatment progress has been identified as a way to enhance psychotherapy outcome. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of a continuous feedback assessment system, the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS; Miller & Duncan, 2004). Findings from 2 client samples that attended individual therapy at a university counseling center (N = 74) or a graduate training clinic (N = 74) indicated that clients who used PCOMS with their therapists (feedback condition) demonstrated statistically significant treatment gains when compared to clients receiving treatment as usual (no-feedback condition). Clients using PCOMS were also more likely to experience reliable change and in fewer sessions. A survival analysis demonstrated that approximately 50% of the clients in the feedback condition demonstrated reliable change after the 7th (graduate training clinic) or 9th session (university counseling center). Further findings, limitations of the study and ideas for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).