The use of treatment support tools to enhance client outcomes is not well understood in the youth treatment literature. Adult outcome researchers have found that the use of Clinical Support Tools (CST) leads to improved outcomes with clients identified as at risk for treatment failure. However, the American Psychological Association (APA) has noted that understanding important client factors that influence treatment is critical during the clinical formulation and treatment planning phase of therapy. No studies to date have evaluated the effectiveness of utilizing a CST as a treatment planning tool with youth clients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Treatment Support Measure, a CST, for the purpose of treatment planning rather than as a reaction to clients who became at-risk for treatment failure. Two hundred and eight youth participants and their caregivers from three outpatient community mental health clinics were randomly assigned to a feedback (TSM-FB) or Non-FB condition. All participants completed the Youth Outcome Questionnaire (Y-OQ) at each session. The TSM was administered to clients in the TSM-FB condition during the intake session. Only therapists whose clients were in the TSM-FB condition received TSM and Y-OQ data. A multilevel model was created to evaluate for differences between conditions on the dependent variable. The initial randomization failed to create similar groups at intake and a statistically and clinically significant difference was detected on the Y-OQ at intake. As such, no conclusions can be drawn for hypotheses tied to the primary dependent variable. Premature termination (PT) rates were significantly lower for the TSM-FB condition when defined as attending more than one session. Contrastingly, there was no difference between conditions on PT when defining PT based on the therapist's opinion. A significant minority of therapists (40%) found that the TSM was useful for treatment planning compared to 10% which did not.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology



Date Submitted


Document Type





treatment planning, TSM, youth psychotherapy, outcomes, Y-OQ, CST



Included in

Psychology Commons