A Multimethod Study of Mental Health Care Patients' Attitudes Toward Clinician-Level Performance Information

Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Apr 1;72(4):452-456. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000366. Epub 2021 Feb 3.


Objective: Research demonstrates variability in mental health clinicians' overall and domain-specific outcomes for their patients. Despite calls to increase patient access to provider performance information, little is known about patients' attitudes toward and valuing of this information. This study explored patient attitudes, preferences, and values regarding the use of clinician outcome track records in provider selection and treatment decision making.

Methods: Community mental health patients (N=403) completed a multicomponent survey, and a subset of patients (N=15) completed a follow-up semistructured interview. Interview data were analyzed with consensual qualitative methods.

Results: Overall, participants endorsed valuing access to clinician outcome track record information and endorsed the belief that using such information would enhance the referral process and promote better mental health outcomes.

Conclusions: Harnessing measurement-based information on clinicians' effectiveness to make more personalized treatment decisions could promote better treatment engagement, retention, and outcomes.

Keywords: Psychotherapy; decision making; mental health care; mental health clinicians; patient preferences; quality of care; treatment outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires