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Systematic client feedback to brief therapy in basic mental healthcare: study protocol for a four-centre clinical trial
  1. Bram Bovendeerd1,2,
  2. Kim de Jong3,
  3. Sjoerd Colijn4,
  4. Erik de Groot2,
  5. Anton Hafkenscheid5,
  6. Mirjam Moerbeek6,
  7. Jos de Keijser1
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychopathology, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  2. 2 GGZ center for mental health care, Dimence, Deventer, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
  4. 4 GGZ Center for Mental Health Care, GGZ Delfland, Delft, The Netherlands
  5. 5 Outpatient Clinic, Arkin/Sinaï Centre Jewish Mental Health Services, Amersfoort/Amstelveen, The Netherlands
  6. 6 Department of Methodology and Statistics, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Bram Bovendeerd; bram.bovendeerd{at}


Introduction The Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) is a client feedback-system built on two brief visual analogue self-report scales. Prior studies of PCOMS have found effects varying from significant positive to negative. Aims of present study are; to test the predicted beneficial impact of PCOMS, while accounting for methodological flaws in prior studies and to clarify under which circumstances the addition of PCOMS to therapy has a beneficial effect.

Methods and analysis This study focuses on patients applying for brief, time-limited treatments. Four centres will be randomised to either treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU with PCOMS. All participating patients will be assessed four times. The full staff in the experimental condition will be trained in PCOMS. In the second part of this study, all therapists in the PCOMS condition will fill in a questionnaire concerning the influence of regulatory focus, self-efficacy, external or internal feedback orientation and perceived feedback validity of PCOMS. Finally, patients in the PCOMS condition will be asked to give feedback through a structured interview.

The primary outcome measure is the Outcome Questionnaire over the period from beginning to end of therapy. The Mental Health Continuum-Short Form and Consumer Quality Index are also completed. In the primary analysis, outcomes of the two treatment conditions on treatment outcome, patient satisfaction, costs, drop-out and duration will be examined with a three-level (within patient, between patients and between therapists) multilevel analysis. The DSM-classification, sex, education level, age of each patient and therapist factors will be included as covariates.

Ethics and dissemination The Medical Ethics Committee of the University of Twente approved this study (K15-11, METC Twente). Data will be included from 1 January 2016 to 1 July 2019. Study results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

Trial registration number NTR5466; Pre-results.

  • client-feedback
  • therapist variables
  • implementation

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  • Contributors BB wrote the study proposal, the manuscript and led the research project. BB, EdG and JdK developed the study design and coordinated the data acquisition. JdK, KdJ and SC contributed to the development of the study design and supervised the research project. AH contributed to the use of the Dutch version of PCOMS and the choice of the dependent variables. KdJ contributed to studying the qualitative aspects of using PCOMS. BB and EdG coordinated the randomisation procedure. BB, EdG, KdJ, MM and JdK developed the data-analytical strategy. All authors provided comments on manuscript drafts and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by Postmaster Psychologie Opleidingen (PPO) the Netherlands, grant number PPO-RF-18CM and The Dimence Groep, the Netherlands, grant number CWOBB112014. The University of Groningen, financially supported JdK’s contributions to the study. None of the sponsors had a role in the design and conducting of the study nor in preparation, review or approval of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The Medical Ethics Committee of the University of Twente (Enschede) approved this study (registration number: K15-11, METC Twente).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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