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Measurement-Based Care in Behavioral Health

A core component of evidence-based practice is using measurement-based care. This is the systematic assessment of clinical symptoms to monitor clinical progress, assess outcomes, and guide clinical decisions from initial screening to remission of symptoms.  Measurement-based care is used for many clinical conditions in medicine. For instance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and hyperlipidemia treatment all involve objective measurement of results to guide treatment. Behavioral health is no different and measures are available to accurately monitor clinical results.   

  • Some measurement-based tools include:
    •    Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) – Used to screen for depression, measure the severity of symptoms and monitor ongoing treatment progress   
    •    General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) – Used to screen for anxiety disorder, measure the severity of the symptoms, and monitor ongoing treatment progress
    •    Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test for Consumption (AUDIT-C) – Used to assess alcohol consumptions, drinking behaviors, and alcohol-related problems

  • The benefits of measurement-based care from a provider’s perspective include:
    •    Insight into clinical progress and can be used to determine appropriate interventions during treatment
    •    Detection of worsening symptoms which leads to more timely treatment and better clinical outcomes