Outcome Evaluation in Psychotherapy

Outcome evaluation in psychotherapy (e.g., routine outcomes monitoring, outcome measurement, measurement-based care) may be defined as the measurement, and systematic tracking, of target symptoms (e.g., behaviors, functioning, skills) throughout therapy for the purposes of evaluating treatment effectiveness and patient progress, as well as informing treatment decisions. For example, in prolonged exposure therapy, the posttraumatic stress disorder checklist (PCL) could be administered during the assessment phase (to provide a baseline measure of posttraumatic stress symptoms), at regular session intervals (to track the changes in posttraumatic stress symptoms), and at posttreatment (to evaluate the overall improvement in posttraumatic stress symptoms since baseline).

Outcome evaluation is important for several reasons. First, strong evidence suggests that regular use of outcome measures during therapy improves the overall effectiveness of treatment. That ...

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