A Supplement to our Measurement-Based Care Issue Brief

Our latest issue brief “Fixing Behavioral Health Care in America: A National Call for Measurement-Based Care in the Delivery of Behavioral Health Services” recognized that now is the time to make Measurement-Based Care a standard in behavioral health. Yet, for many systems of care, the use of validated and quantifiable symptom rating scales, described in the Issue Brief on Measurement-Based Care, are not included.

We wrote this supplement to offer stakeholders a broader range of choices from a vetted list of rating scales. “A Core Set of Outcome Measures for Behavioral Health Across Service Settings,” provides clinicians and agencies with commonly used and validated symptom rating scales. We’re providing the resources to help make Measurement-Based Care a reality.

Symptom rating scales are a structured measurement tool that providers can use to assess their patients’ perceptions about the frequency and/or severity of the psychiatric symptoms they are experiencing. These evidence-based measures can be applied across multiple health care sectors, including general medicine and specialty behavioral health care, and support standardized assessment and clinical decision making.

These rating scales provide a foundational pillar of measurement-based care, allowing the ability to:

  • Measure outcomes to detect in a quantifiable and standardized manner the change in symptoms, functions, or substance use over time;
  • Assist clinicians in making the most effective treatment decisions in a timely manner based upon frequent use of these measures; and
  • Promote the screening of patients for possible psychiatric disorders.

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“We stand on the doorstep to make momentous progress in advancing the cause of this new civil rights struggle started by the work of President Kennedy over 50 years ago.”
— Patrick J. Kennedy