Free, Brief, and Validated: Standardized Instruments for Low-Resource Mental Health Settings

University of Pennsylvania
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice (Impact Factor: 1.33). 03/2014; 22(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2014.02.002


Evidence-based assessment has received little attention despite its critical importance to the evidence-based practice movement. Given the limited resources in the public sector, it is necessary for evidence-based assessment to utilize tools with established reliability and validity metrics that are free, easily accessible, and brief. We review tools that meet these criteria for youth and adult mental health for the most prevalent mental health disorders to provide a clinical guide and reference for the selection of assessment tools for public sector settings. We also discuss recommendations for how to move forward the evidence-based assessment agenda.

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    • "Scott & Lewis and may be used in lieu of more expensive, copyrighted measures. A list of free measures can be found in the review paper included in this journal's special section (Beidas et al.,2015–in this issue). Overall, organizational resources may significantly limit the type and extent of MBC that can be implemented; however, small efforts to apply MBC (i.e., monitoring symptom change using idiographic assessments) may be beneficial for improving client outcomes (Weisz, Chorpita, et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Measurement-based care (MBC) can be defined as the practice of basing clinical care on client data collected throughout treatment. MBC is considered a core component of numerous evidence-based practices (e.g., Beck & Beck, 2011; Klerman, Weissman, Rounsaville, & Chevron, 1984) and has emerging empirical support as an evidence-based framework that can be added to any treatment (Lambert et al., 2003, Trivedi et al., 2007). The observed benefits of MBC are numerous. MBC provides insight into treatment progress, highlights ongoing treatment targets, reduces symptom deterioration, and improves client outcomes (Lambert et al.). Moreover, as a framework to guide treatment, MBC has transtheoretical and transdiagnostic relevance with broad reach across clinical settings. Although MBC has primarily focused on assessing symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety), MBC can also be used to assess valuable information about (a) symptoms, (b) functioning and satisfaction with life, (c) putative mechanisms of change (e.g., readiness to change), and (d) the treatment process (e.g., session feedback, working alliance). This paper provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of MBC implementation when conceptualized as a transtheoretical and transdiagnostic framework for evaluating client therapy progress and outcomes across these four domains. The empirical support for MBC use is briefly reviewed, an adult case example is presented to serve as a guide for successful implementation of MBC in clinical practice, and future directions to maximize MBC utility are discussed.
    Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 02/2014; 22(1). DOI:10.1016/j.cbpra.2014.01.010 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Though case conceptualization is considered to be a component of evidence-based practice, the case conceptualization process is not always guided by scientific findings. Case conceptualization is a collaborative process of generating hypotheses about causes, antecedents, and maintaining influences for an individual client’s problems within a biopsychosocial context. We argue that adopting a scientific approach to case conceptualization informed by research findings and evidence-based assessment tools can help inform clinical decision-making from intake to treatment termination. Our approach to case conceptualization involves 5 stages. In the first stages, a clinician synthesizes and integrates research evidence from various literatures to identify presenting problems and casual and maintaining factors (Stage 1), to classify diagnoses (Stage 2), to inform the development of hypotheses about variables contributing to a client’s problems (Stage 3), and to select a treatment approach and plan (Stage 4). In the final stage, the clinician takes a scientific approach to developing individualized assessment methods that can be used to test and revise hypotheses through the treatment process and to measure outcomes (Stage 5). A case example illustrating practical use of these steps is presented.
    Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 01/2014; 22(1). DOI:10.1016/j.cbpra.2013.12.004 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence-based assessment (EBA) is an essential component of evidence-based practice. Information obtained from EBA can be used to make decisions about what to target in treatment, to generate a case conceptualization, and to objectively monitor treatment progress. Numerous studies indicate that incorporating EBA into treatment can improve client outcomes. Unfortunately, relative to the amount of information available to clinicians about evidence-based treatments, little information exists to guide clinicians who are interested in incorporating EBA into their treatment practices. This special section seeks to address that gap by providing practical clinical guides and case examples for a variety of EBA strategies across a variety of settings.
    Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 09/2014; 22(1). DOI:10.1016/j.cbpra.2014.08.001 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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