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Use of standardised outcome measures in adult mental health services: Randomised controlled trial

  • Mike Slade (a1), Paul McCrone (a1), Elizabeth Kuipers (a2), Morven Leese (a1), Sharon Cahill (a3), Alberto Parabiaghi (a1), Stefan Priebe (a4) and Graham Thornicroft (a5)...

Abstract

Background

Routine use of standardised outcome measures is not universal.

Aims

To evaluate the effectiveness of standardised outcome assessment.

Method

A randomised controlled trial, involving 160 representative adult mental health patients and paired staff (ISRCTN16971059). The intervention group (n=101) (a) completed monthly postal questionnaires assessing needs, quality of life, mental health problem severity and therapeutic alliance, and (b) received 3-monthly feedback. The control group (n=59) received treatment as usual.

Results

The intervention did not improve primary outcomes of patient-rated unmet need and of quality of life. Other subjective secondary outcome measures were also not improved. The intervention reduced psychiatric inpatient days (3.5 v. 16.4 mean days, bootstrapped 95% CI 1.6-25.7), and hence service use costs were £2586 (95% CI 102-5391) less for intervention-group patients. Net benefit analysis indicated that the intervention was cost-effective.

Conclusions

Routine use of outcome measures as implemented in this study did not improve subjective outcomes, but was associated with reduced psychiatric inpatient admissions.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Mike Slade, Health Services Research Department (Box P029), Institute of Psychiatry King's College London, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel.: +44 (0) 20 7848 0795; fax: +44 (0) 20 7277 1462; email: m.slade@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None. Funding by the Medical Research Council.

Footnotes

References

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Use of standardised outcome measures in adult mental health services: Randomised controlled trial

  • Mike Slade (a1), Paul McCrone (a1), Elizabeth Kuipers (a2), Morven Leese (a1), Sharon Cahill (a3), Alberto Parabiaghi (a1), Stefan Priebe (a4) and Graham Thornicroft (a5)...
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