The long-term effect on mental health symptoms and patient activation of using patient feedback scales in mental health out-patient treatment. A randomised controlled trial

Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Jan;99(1):164-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2015.07.016. Epub 2015 Jul 19.


Objective: To investigate the long-term effect on mental health symptoms and patient activation, from using the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) feedback scales in out-patient mental health consultations, compared to not using feedback scales.

Methods: An open parallel-group randomised controlled trial was conducted in a mental health hospital in Norway. Eight therapists treated the intervention group, using two feedback scales, and seventeen therapists treated the treatment as usual group.

Results: Seventy-five patients participated. Six and twelve months after starting treatment there were no significant effects on the primary outcomes mental health symptoms or patient activation. Compared to baseline assessment the PCOMS group had significantly improved their patient activation scores after twelve months.

Conclusion: We found no long-term effects from using the PCOMS scales on mental health symptoms or patient activation.

Practice implications: This study shows that the use of a feedback system does not increase mental health outcomes or patient activation.

Keywords: Mental health care; Outcome assessment; Patient participation; Professional–patient relations.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Outpatients / psychology*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires