Partners for Change Outcome Management System

Measuring the Therapeutic Alliance just got easier

English, Spanish, French, Norwegian, Swedish & Danish versions of the appWith the release of  V19, MyOutcomes has vastly increased the capacity of the PCOMS Measures to serve as a helpful cross-cutting outcome and alliance measure in settings with people with lots of different problems or who are seeing lots of different professionals.

First, we have made it possible to edit, “The Therapist”s Approach is/is not a good fit for me” scale of the SRS, allowing it to be adapted to reflect a term more suited to your service setting. This feature is accessible under Options at the Owner level.

Second, is the new translations, 20 languages to choose from on the web app and now 10 on the mobile app! Allowing for administration of the ORS/CORS/SRS/CSRS & GSRS in English, Spanish, French, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, German, Italian and Chinese.

Plus, in MyOutcomes Mobile v6 we have moved beyond simply offering multiple translations of the PCOMS Measures, now Providers and Clients will be able to choose from English, Spanish, French, Norwegian, Swedish & Danish versions of the app. To change the language from the default English, in the upper-right corner on the app login screen is a cog icon that will open the list of languages to select from.

If you haven’t tried MyOutcomes v6, now is the time.

Use with up to five clients for free

ORS & SRS app

PCOMS: The Science Behind MyOutcomes

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Dr. Barry L. Duncan, director of the Heart & Soul of Change Project, gets into the science that forms the backbone of MyOutcomes' web-based tool. Partners for Change Outcome Management System or PCOMS as it is commonly known is a continuous monitoring and feedback model that has shown increased efficiency in randomized clinical trials (RCTs). PCOMS is an evidence-based practice that involves a transparent discussion of the feedback with the client and involves collaboration with the client. It thus gives the client the power to be involved in his treatment.

The Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) assesses four dimensions; Individual, Interpersonal, Social and Overall whereas the Session Rating Scale (SRS) simply translates what is known about the alliance between the therapist and the client.

MyOutcomes takes this approach to the next level by providing a web-based system that graphically depicts these two scales and compares the client's progress to the Expected Treatment Response (ETR) of clients with the same intake score. It is the best way to continue the primary vision to make clients partners in change.

Dr. Barry Duncan, in this brief video clip, tells you about the science behind the MyOutcomes tool and how it can increase outcomes in therapy. To see the entire webcast CLICK HERE


Where has all the psychotherapy gone?

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Why is psychotherapy seeing less and less people every year?

In their research paper released in 2010, the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed some disturbing trends seen over a period from 1998 to 2007. They found that there was a significant increase in the use of only medication for the treatment of mental disorders and less and less people relied on talk therapy;even the use of psychotherapy with medication saw a downward trend.

Four years after that paper was published, things have not much improved for psychotherapy and therapists all across have been regularly losing their customers. There are a number of reasons for this which are not very difficult to point out, like the rise of the managed behavioural healthcare industry and aggressive marketing of drugs by pharmaceutical companies among others but is it correct to blame only the extraneous factors for the downturn of therapy?

Why would someone not opt for a treatment that is showing results?

As the neuroscience journalist of, Maia Szalavitz, wrote a couple of years back in an article, psychotherapy doesn't have an “image problem”: it has an evidence problem.

I strongly feel that she has hit the nail on the head with this remark and identified the root cause. What therapists need in order to give therapy a new lease of life is show evidence that psychotherapy does work. And what better way to show that it works but check with the client himself!

This is where The Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) developed by doctors Barry Duncan and Scott Miller comes into play. Keeping true to its name, this meta model partners with the client and takes note of their perceptions of change. It measures the all important parameters like the degree of change experienced by the client since their last session and also the degree of alliance between the therapist and the client.

These tools not only provide direction to the therapist as to which course to take in order to see the best results for the client but also provides evidence for the effectiveness of therapy that is the need of the hour for them and for the profession.

So, if you suffer from the same problem as well and do not know which course your treatment is taking, adopt evidence based therapy.

MyOutcomes is a paperless, secure and web-based feedback system that is effective to track and improve outcomes on a client by client basis. This evidence based tool provides all the support that you need to draw in that stream of clients and help revive therapy without the need for medication!

To know more about how MyOutcomes can be your best friend and can help you and your clients, call us toll free on 1-877-763-4775 or watch our on demand demo video.

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Ensuring Success in Therapy

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What is PCOMS and how does outcome measurement ensure success in therapy?

An article titled “Misjudged counselling and therapy can be harmful” published recently in The Guardian stated the results of a government funded study conducted by AdEPT (Adverse Effects of Psychological Therapies). According to the analysis of outcomes of psychotherapies the study found that although a majority of therapies are beneficial, there are a small percentage of clients who report being negatively affected by these very same therapies. Now this is worrying for any therapist as the last thing they would want is for clients to deteriorate as a result of their treatment.

Everyone in the field of talk therapy want to help people and make a positive difference in their lives, but how can they make sure that the help and counselling they are providing is having the intended impact? The study title itself gives some clues when it mentions both the client and the therapist should be aware of the potential for adverse effects. If only there had been some way of warning when therapy is not having the intended effect. A way for the therapist and the client to gauge early on which direction therapy is taking.

It is common knowledge that if we can catch the problem early on, then it is easier to find a solution for it by taking corrective measures. Detecting early change is the best way forward as neither the therapist nor the client will have to wait too long to understand the direction in which therapy is going. In one of our earlier blogs titled One Small Step for MyOutcomes, One Giant Leap for Therapists, we have gone so far in saying that detecting early change in therapy can be a predictor of success or a lack of early positive change means that something is off track and needs to be fixed!

So the question now is how do we know if change is taking place early on in therapy? The answer to this is an instrument that can measure change as it is only by measuring that one can become aware of it.

This is where PCOMS or Partners for Change Outcome Management System comes into play. But what is PCOMS? I am sure most of you in the field of psychotherapy already know about it but for those who don't, PCOMS is an evidence based practice that can be integrated into the therapy process by the practitioner in order to continuously monitor the progress of therapy. The main purpose is to take client feedback from time to time in order to improve the quality and outcome of behavioural health services.

MyOutcomes is a SAMHSA approved, web-based application of PCOMS that comprises two ultra brief rating scales, namely the ORS and the SRS, which measure the client's psychological distress and the degree of therapeutic alliance, respectively. Both these measures are strong predictors of change in therapy because if we know that if psychological distress is reduced, then the client has recovered sufficiently to reclaim their life. Couple this with the degree of alliance between the client and the therapist and the therapist will get a clear picture of where the therapy is going.

We can therefore confidently claim that MyOutcomes is a SAMHSA approved outcomes measurement tool that is a clinician's best friend.


PCOMS at Your Convenience

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Join Heart and Soul of Change's affordable online training program that provides 24/7 support and tells you everything you wanted to know about implementing PCOMS into your practice.

Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” The world around us is constantly changing. In order to keep up with those changes, all we need to do is “continually learn”.

As more and more therapists and agencies around the world are embracing PCOMS or Partners for Change Outcome Management System, a SAMHSA-approved, evidence-based practice, it has been repeatedly shown to be capable of producing positive results in a variety of clinical settings. The Heart & Soul of Change Project, in order to quench your thirst for knowledge about PCOMS has come up with its affordable training program that is available anytime, anywhere. The Heart & Soul of Change project is a practice-driven, training and research initiative that focuses on the practical implementation of PCOMS and is therefore, the undisputed leader in the field.

Training includes members' only access to over 50 exclusive webinars and client videos that are hosted by Dr. Barry Duncan and other renowned names in the field. New study materials are routinely added. All offerings are presented by project leaders, certified trainers and special guests.

Your year-long subscription has no limitations on renewal. It includes online access to client videos, webinars, and other training materials. Your membership provides you with the independence and flexibility to learn at your own pace and in a setting that you are comfortable with. The rates for membership are:

–    Regular: $120 USD
–    Student: $70 USD
–    Small agency (49 members or less): $499 USD
–    Large agency (50 or more members): $999 USD
–    Professor: $299 USD

Agency memberships, whether small or large, include 24/7 staff access to all learning material. Professor memberships include unlimited student access and the flexibility to structure courses around the webinars for in-class presentation.

More and more therapists, private practitioners, and agencies have embraced PCOMS for measuring therapy outcomes. As a result, they are seeing an increase in client satisfaction with a reduction in client drop-outs and cancelled appointments. If you are one of today's forward-looking therapists, then please join us and become a member of the Heart & Soul of Change Project.

If you have not yet adopted the PCOMS path but would like to explore in order to enjoy the positive impact that it will have in your therapy, contact MyOutcomes. MyOutcomes is a SAMHSA-approved, web-based, feedback-driven outcomes management and reporting system. It incorporates the research underlying PCOMS with a web-based system that streamlines data entry and interprets results with the help of easy-to-understand graphs and feedback messages.

Click below to schedule a 30 minutes free demo or call us toll free at 1-877-763-4775

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Further Validation of PCOMS

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Efficacy of client feedback in Army Substance Abuse Outpatient Treatment Program

Schuman, Slone, Reese, and Duncan (April 2014) recently published, in the Journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, the results of their investigation of routine monitoring of client progress using the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS). The study indicated that soldiers receiving treatment in an Army Substance Abuse Outpatient Treatment Program showed improved outcomes when treatment was combined with the use of PCOMS (Feedback group) compared to those who received treatment without PCOMS (Treatment-As-Usual group). The participants (N = 263) were all active-duty male and female soldiers, who were randomly assigned to either the Feedback condition (n = 137) or the Treatment-As-Usual condition (n = 126). Relative to group Treatment-As-Usual, soldiers in the Feedback condition demonstrated significantly greater improvement as measured on PCOMS' Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) (d = 0.28), higher rates of clinically significant change, a higher percentage of successful ratings by both clinicians and commanders, and were less likely to be no-shows. Despite a limited intervention and duration, the preliminary results suggest that the benefits of client feedback extend to psychotherapy for military personnel struggling with substance abuse.

The United States' Army, Navy and Air Force were all early adopters of PCOMS and today, use MyOutcomes® to track and manage the behavioral health services they provide to the dedicated men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. 



PCOMS in Practice

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therapy feedback system, outcome measures, scott miller, pcoms;

PCOMS or Partners for Change Outcome Management System is a SAMHSA approved evidence-based practice and is a practical solution to both the therapist's and the agency's need for being able to measure outcomes and achieve desired results. It doesn't change the way a practitioner works but makes their work better as it is atheoretical and just complements the clinician's theoretical way of work. It can be incorporated into any model or treatment orientation and can be applied to clients of almost all diagnostic categories.

It takes only a few minutes to complete and is extremely practical and feasible to implement. Clients complete the four-item forms in a minute and the total time required by the therapist to gather meaning from this data is typically less than 5 minutes.

The beauty of PCOMS is that it incorporates the most robust predictors of therapeutic success into an outcome management system that partners with clients while honouring the daily pressure of front line clinicians. It measures the most robust indicators of therapeutic success, the clients' view of their early change, as measured by the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS). The ORS measures and records it so that something can be done at an initial stage to manage the entire process. The other predictor is the alliance between the client and the therapist and is measured by the Session Rating Scale (SRS).

MyOutcomes has taken all this research and put it in a web-based system that streamlines data entry and interpret results with the help of easy to understand graphs and feedback messages.

Watch this short video clip where Dr Barry Duncan, director of the Heart and Soul of Change Project, talks about the benefits of PCOMS in practical therapy.

You can have instant access to this practical tool and experience for yourself a typical session using MyOutcomes.

Follow the link for instant access now!  CLICK HERE



Partners for Change Outcome Management System

 Partners for Change Outcome Management System, PCOMS

In behavioural healthcare, PCOMS or Partners for Change Outcome Management System is the term used for a client feedback program that involves psychologists seeking regular and real-time feedback from their clients in order to understand therapy effectiveness and take any corrective actions if needed

The idea of PCOMS is to increase therapy effectiveness, reduce client dropouts, increase positive treatment outcomes and reduce hospitalization stay tenure. It reduces the overall cost of therapy in the long run.

PCOMS is not a separate process but it is integrated within therapy itself and involves the filling of two brief scales at the beginning and end of each therapeutic session. These two scales are called the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS). The ORS is a measure of the client's therapeutic progress and is a simple, four item visual analog scale that is administered at the beginning of each therapy session. The SRS is also a four-item analog scale administered at the end of the session and it measures the strength of the therapeutic alliance between the psychologist and the client.

To maintain client engagement and make him a part of the therapy process, the ratings from these two scales are discussed with the client on a session by session basis. Depending upon the level of improvement or the trajectory of change, the therapist can then decide the course of treatment so as to achieve maximum positive outcome from therapy.

The Heart and Soul of Change Project, led by Dr. Barry Duncan and The International Center for Clinical Excellence, headed by Dr. Scott D Miller disseminate PCOMS.  MyOutcomes has used this science and has taken this approach to the next level by providing a web-based system that graphically depicts these two scales and compares the client's progress to the Expected Treatment Response (ETR) of clients with the same intake score. This further reduces time and effort at the end of the therapist as he can analyse all the information at the click of a button.

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PCOMS- Recognized as Evidence Based Practice

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After an arduous review process, the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS-Heart and Soul of Change version) operationalized by MyOutcomes has been accepted by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

This is another major stamp of approval for a system that has already shown in study after study and in real world clinical situations to be an invaluable advancement in the field of psychotherapy.

MyOutcomes would like to congratulate Dr. Barry Duncan and all of the clinicians and researchers at the Heart and Soul of Change Project whose years of hard work and multiple collaborations with partners around the world has led to this day. This is a great advancement for those who believe in privileging the clients voice and being accountable for the services they provide. To read more see: here