How difficult could it be? One scale to assess progress, a second to solicit the client’s perception of the therapeutic relationship. Each containing four questions, administration typically takes between 30 to 60 seconds.
And yet, while both simple and effective, research shows integrating the measures into care is far from easy. First came studies documenting that implementing feedback-informed care took time — up to three years for agencies to see results (3). It’s why we developed and have been offering a two-day itensive training on the subject for more than a decade — the only one of its kind. The next one is scheduled for January (click here for more information or to register). We outline the evidence-based steps and help managers, supervisors, team leads and staff develop a plan.
Other studies show while the vast majority of clients have highly favorable reactions to the use of the scales in care, they do have questions. In a recently survey of 13 clients in a private practice setting, Glenn Stone and colleagues (4) reported 70% were surprised at being asked for feedback! More than half found it helpful to see their progress represented graphically from week to week, roughly the same number who felt the scales helped them identify and maintain the right focus in sessions. At the same time, a handful reported feeling confused about the some of the questions; specifically, how to answer an item (e.g., social well being) when it contained multiple descriptors (e.g., school, work and friendship) — each of which could be answered differently.
Such a fantastic question! One we have addressed, among many others, at every three-day, Feedback Informed Treatment Intensive since 2003 (the next one scheduled back-to-back with the Implementation training in January). Seeing the question in this research report made me think I needed to do a “FIT tip” video for those who’ve started using the measures but have yet to attend.
So what is the “best practice” when clients ask how to complete a question which contains multiple descriptors?