You can read about some of them below.
You can read about some of them below.
Companies who outsource their well-being and EAP services are being urged to demand a higher degree of measurement and return on investment by ICAS, Europe’s leading employee well-being provider.
The company, which provides well-being and employee assistance programmes globally to more than 900 companies, is the only European provider to measure the success of counselling and therapy on a session-by-session basis. ICAS is one of just three organisations, and the only private sector company, to be piloting the use of CORE-Net, a new measurement software system that monitors progress during therapy rather than waiting until the end of a therapeutic intervention.
Traditionally, a questionnaire is used at the start and end of therapy, to identify whether the intervention succeeded in helping the client by demonstrating that they benefited from the service they received. This is the traditional measurement system provided by CORE-PC, which over the past five years has been adopted by around 400 UK services. CORE-Net, by contrast, is an innovative new CORE IMS system that includes shorter 10 and 5-item tracking questionnaires designed for use in every session to help a therapist and (potentially) their supervisor to identify whether a client is progressing well, staying the same or declining in psychological well-being.
Laura Galbraith, International Clinical Director, explains the significance of the new system: “This is a revolution in measurement. It means that changes can be made if treatment isn’t working as effectively as predicted. It sounds obvious, but if you wait until a programme of therapy has ended to measure success, what can you do if it hasn’t worked – go back to the start and invest in a second programme of therapy? If you monitor progress each session and a client isn’t getting better, you can do something about it quickly.”
“Ultimately, this not only means delivering more effective treatment for employees in need, but fundamentally it gives information on investment and greater value for money to the companies which have EAPs. Rather than waiting for companies to demand this level of measurement, we have decided to lead the pack and proactively offer it as part of our quality assurance to clients.”
As with many initiatives of this nature, the inspiration comes from US research, led by pioneers such as Professor Mike Lambert at Brigham Young University in Utah. John Mellor Clark, from CORE IMS and Leeds University, who leads the development of CORE Systems, says “the data built up by many services already using our CORE-PC system shows that typically 70% of the clients given psychological therapy treatment will achieve reliable improvement. Where the new CORE-Net and tracking measurement wins out is that it allows the therapist to look individually at those 30% of clients who are not improving and to identify what changes in treatment can be effected to improve the chances of success.”
In the US a number of research studies, particularly those carried out by Professor Michael Lambert at Brigham Young University, have shown that measurement of progress every session can have a significant impact in raising the proportion of clients who achieve recovery or improvement. One major US insurance company helped by Lambert, has developed a “measure progress every session” system which has accumulated data for around 100,000 patients seen by about 8,000 therapists. The insurance company has had a considerable level of success in improving overall outcomes by being able to refer clients to a local clinician who has a demonstrated track record of effectiveness – and thus offers the most immediate, best hope of successful treatment. They have also found that the system helps them to ensure the most cost effective use of limited resources.
John Mellor Clark concludes: “We’re delighted to work with ICAS, a company that recognises the need to deliver a greater return on investment and that wants to lead the field in Europe. If companies in the UK aren’t demanding this level of measurement yet, then perhaps they should be. Together with ICAS, we’re getting ready for that development and hope that companies start asking for management of outcomes, rather than just measurement.”
ICAS are helping CORE IMS with a specific aspect of system development in relation to its use in case consultancy. ICAS is using its network of affiliates to gather the data from the counselling sessions and together with CORE IMS, they will document the results to help develop a training course for the system that could be utilised by other services keen to introduce such an outcomes management paradigm. There are benefits to practitioners too. Using CORE-Net helps identify their own strengths and development needs as therapists, allowing them to improve on the latter. Ultimately, early adopters of the system, such as ICAS, could soon be leading the field.