Mollie Snelling Assessment, Research and Counselling Clinician
How do you and your team use outcomes measurement in your service delivery?
We use a variety of measurements ranging from program wide statistics which assess broad trends, to individual assessments which allow us to monitor a single client’s progress through treatment. One such measurement is the Brief situational confidence questionnaire (BSCQ), which examines a person’s confidence to resist using substances in a variety of situations. The BSCQ provides a unique look at the individual’s triggers for using and the situations in which they feel least confident to avoid using substances. We are able to use the data from this measure to tailor treatment including preparing for weekend leave and noting how their triggers and patterns change through treatment.
Can you describe an example of how this was done with a young person accessing your service?
A client completed the BSCQ in their first week of treatment and was preparing to go off-campus for weekend leave at the end of their fifth week. Using the data from the BSCQ, their counsellor was able to tailor the discussion around their two lowest rated situations (e.g., conflict with others and urges/temptations). The counsellor added extra focus on urge surfing, coping with distress and interpersonal effectiveness to help boost the client’s skills in the targeted areas. After they returned from weekend leave, their confidence levels had changed as they had been able to test out their new skills in these areas. This provided more information which the counsellor could use to direct treatment.
How did you feel as a clinician using this data? Was it useful and if so, how? Or if not, why?
The data is certainly useful because it is unique to each client. People use substances for different reasons and will struggle to resist using in different situations. By looking at their individual BSCQ ratings, clinicians can tailor discussion in a more meaningful way and help the client explore their personal triggers and patterns.
What advice can you give other programs about how they can embed the use of outcomes measurement into their service delivery?
It is important to explain to the clients what information you are collecting, why you are collecting it and how it will be used. It can make the clients more likely to provide accurate data and help them to understand the process as part of their treatment. Actively review your data collection processes. If you are not using the data to assess and potentially change your processes, why collect it?