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The Effects Of Providing Therapists With Feedback On Patient Progress During Psychotherapy: Are Outcomes Enhanced?

M. Lambert, J. Whipple, D. Smart, D. Vermeersch, S. L. Nielsen, E. Hawkins
Published 2001 · Medicine

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Patient-focused research attempts to provide information that answers the question: Is this treatment benefiting this patient? Although several systems have been developed to monitor and provide feedback about a patient's response to psychotherapy, few if any have been tested empirically. The current study divided 609 patients into four groups (two experimental and two control) to determine if feedback regarding patient progress, when provided to a therapist, affected patient outcome and number of sessions attended. Results showed that feedback increased the duration of treatment and improved outcome relative to patients in the control condition who were predicted to be treatment failures. Twice as many patients in the feedback group achieved clinically significant or reliable change and one-third as many were classified as deteriorated by the time treatment ended. For those patients who were predicted to have a positive response to treatment, feedback to therapists resulted in a reduction in the number of treatment sessions without reducing positive outcomes.
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