Enhancing the effect of psychotherapy through systematic client feedback in outpatient mental healthcare: A cluster randomized trial

Bram Bovendeerd*, Kim de Jong, Erik de Groot, Mirjam Moerbeek, Jos de Keijser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objective: Systematic client feedback (SCF), the regular monitoring and informing of patients’ progress during therapy to patient and therapist, has been found to have effects on treatment outcomes varying from very positive to slightly negative. Several prior studies have been biased by researcher allegiance or lack of an independent outcome measure. The current study has taken this into account and aims to clarify the effects of SCF in outpatient psychological treatment.

Method: Outpatients (n = 1733) of four centers offering brief psychological treatments were cluster randomized to either treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU with SCF based on the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS). Primary outcome measure was the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45). Effects of the two treatment conditions on treatment outcome, patient satisfaction, dropout rate, costs, and treatment duration were assessed using a three-level multilevel analysis. DSM-classification, sex, and age of each patient were included as covariates.

Results: In both analyses, SCF significantly improved treatment outcome, particularly in the first three months. No significant effects were found on the other outcome variables.

Conclusions: Addition of systematic client feedback to treatment as usual, is likely to have a beneficial impact in outpatient psychological treatment. Implementation requires a careful plan of action.

Clinical or methodological significance of this article: This study, with large sample size and several independent outcome measures, provides strong evidence that addition of systematic client feedback to outpatient psychological treatment can have a beneficial effect on treatment outcome (symptoms and wellbeing), particularly in the first three months. However, implementation requires a careful plan of action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-722
Number of pages13
JournalPsychotherapy research
Volume32
Issue number6
Early online date23-Dec-2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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