Learn About PCOMS

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Despite overall efficacy, many clients do not benefit, dropouts are a problem, and providers vary significantly in success rates, are poor judges of negative outcomes, and don’t have a clue about their effectiveness. The Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS), a systematic client feedback intervention, offers a solution. PCOMS uses two, four item scales to solicit consumer feedback regarding factors proven to predict success regardless of treatment model or presenting problem: early progress (using the Outcome Rating Scale) and the quality of the alliance (using the Session Rating Scale). PCOMS:

  • Identifies clients at risk for negative outcome before dropout or treatment failure;
  • Provides objective, quantifiable data on the effectiveness of providers and systems of care;
  • Uses measures that are reliable and valid, but feasible for each clinical encounter; and
  • Provides a mechanism for consumer preferences to guide choice of intervention.

Partners for Change Outcome Management System | PCOMS | Better Outcomes Now | Dr. Barry Duncan

Consequently, unlike other methods of measuring outcome, this system truly involves consumers in all decisions that affect their care while honoring the time demands of front-line clinical work and documenting proof of value.

Eight randomized clinical trials (RCT) conducted by the clinical developer, Drs. Barry Duncan, Jeff Reese, and other researchers at Better Outcomes Now have shown PCOMS to significantly improve effectiveness in real clinical settings as well as substantially reduce costs related to length of treatment and provider productivity. Because of these RCTs, PCOMS was recognized in the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). PCOMS has been implemented by hundreds of organizations in all 50 states and in 20 countries. Here are the top ten things to know about PCOMS.

Video Resources

Introducing Psychotherapy Outcome Measures to Your Clients | FREE Infographic | Better Outcomes Now