While most clients show improvement in therapy, anomalously, 5% to 10% actually worsen, and a significant minority of clients shows little or no response to therapy. Earlier studies developed clinical support tools (CSTs) designed to provide feedback to therapists about potential problem areas and to improve the likelihood of a positive outcome for clients identified as at-risk for a negative outcome in therapy (Harmon et. al. 2007; Slade, Lambert, Harmon, Smart, & Bailey, 2008; Whipple et al., 2003). While varying from study to study, the CSTs looked at five domains: therapeutic alliance, motivation to change, social support, life events, and perfectionism. More than 100 questions were used to assess these domains. The major goal of this study was to streamline the CST measures to increase efficiency. Toward that end, a new instrument consisting of 37 questions was developed by administering questionnaires to 169 patients at a rural Utah mental health center. In addition, the life events and social support questions were given to 76 students at Brigham Young University and 88 randomly selected residents of Utah County. Using item response analysis and mean scores for each dimension, subscale cut scores were developed for four dimensions: therapeutic alliance, motivation for therapy, social support, and life events. The perfectionism subscale was dropped from the questionnaire because perfectionism was deemed to be too stable to be useful for the intended use of the measure. Cut scores were also developed for each individual question. These subscale and individual item cut scores are intended to help clinicians identify potential problem areas to be explored during the course of therapy.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Kimball, Kevin Larry, "Toward Determining Best Items for Identifying Therapeutic Problem Areas" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 2519.
deterioration, patient-focused research, outcome management, feedback, clinical support tool