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Feedback-Informed Treatment

Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, RMT, edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

Partners for Change Outcomes Management System (PCOMS)

The Partners for Change Outcomes Management System (PCOMS) is often referred to as feedback-informed treatment. This newcomer to the SAMHSA registry supports the use of a wide array of interventions so long as they are justified by client feedback.

form with boxes checkedPeople with unsatisfying psychotherapy experiences often describe feeling as though their input and preferences did not matter to their clinician. However, for many trauma specialists, seeking continuous feedback from their clients is a vital part of being a competent, compassionate, trauma-informed provider. Therefore, PCOMS shows great promise for many trauma specialists. Practitioners trained in this method are taught to tailor their interventions to client feedback using two specific scales of measurement, the Session Ratings Scale (SRS) and the Outcomes Rating Scale (ORS). In this approach, clinicians get feedback at the end of each session from their clients by giving them these two, 4-item questionnaires. Clinicians trained in the full PCOMS system can then enter these responses into a computer software that allows clinicians to view patterns about client outcomes and satisfaction with the therapy process. Clinicians using the PCOMS system are committed to the idea of therapy as a collaborative process and the notion that client feedback is critical to the success of the treatment. Clinicians are not married to any one model or technique, rather, they make changes to their approach as needed following this client feedback. Even if a facility is not using the specifically validated PCOMS measures, it is worthwhile to ask how a practitioner, program, or facility, obtains and uses client feedback to improve treatment.