Unlocking the Power of Measurement-Based Care: The Kennedy Forum's Recommended Assessments in PsyPack

Kennedy Forum Recommended Outcome Measures

Team PsyPack
Team PsyPack
Mon Feb 26 2024

At the forefront of reshaping mental health and addiction care in the United States stands the Kennedy Forum, a driving force in fostering collaboration among mental health advocates, corporate leaders, and governmental bodies. Together, they champion a shared vision that includes the comprehensive implementation of the Federal Parity Law.

In 2017, the Kennedy Forum released a crucial Issue Brief titled “Fixing Behavioral Health Care in America: A National Call for Measurement-Based Care in the Delivery of Behavioral Health Services.” This comprehensive document highlights the pivotal role of patient-reported symptom rating scales in advancing measurement-based care, essential for optimizing treatment outcomes in mental health and substance use disorders.

Within this Issue Brief, the Kennedy Forum underscored a vital policy recommendation: the widespread adoption of measurement-based care systems by primary care and behavioral health providers. This approach involves the routine use of validated symptom rating scales completed by patients and reviewed by clinicians during treatment encounters. By systematically tracking patient progress, providers can make informed decisions about treatment efficacy, leading to timely adjustments, consultations, or referrals when necessary.

Despite the evident benefits outlined in the Issue Brief, the prevailing standard of care often fails to incorporate the regular utilization of validated and quantifiable symptom rating scales. To address this gap, the Kennedy Forum offers a curated list of commonly used and validated rating scales. These instruments serve as invaluable aids for clinicians, payers, and quality improvement agencies, facilitating evidence-based decision-making and enhancing the overall quality of care.

In this blog post, we aim to present the Kennedy Forum’s list of commonly used and validated symptom rating scales in a manner that’s both informative and accessible to healthcare professionals, ensuring that they have the resources needed to implement measurement-based care effectively.

Adult Symptom Rating Scales for Core Outcome Measures

Altman ScaleMania5
PDSS-SRPanic attacks7
DAST-10Drug abuse10
A Core Set of Outcome Measures for Behavioral Health Across Service Settings, The Kennedy Forum

Adult Multi-Diagnostic Substance Abuse Outcomes Measurement

Substance Abuse Outcomes ModuleSubstance abuse22
Brief Addiction Monitor (BAM)Substance abuse17
A Core Set of Outcome Measures for Behavioral Health Across Service Settings, The Kennedy Forum

Additional Adult Functional Status Rating Scales for Core Outcome Measures*

Functional Outcomes Survey 20-Item Short Form (SF-20)General medical and mental functional status20Scoring is relatively complex. Similar to the SF-36 and SF-12™.
Daily Living Activities (DLA-20)Functional outcomes20National Council for Behavioral Health
WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0Covers (6) domains of functioning (cognition, mobility, self-care, getting along, life activities, participation)12- and 36-item version
A Core Set of Outcome Measures for Behavioral Health Across Service Settings, The Kennedy Forum

*Note: These measures need to be administered on a frequent basis to assure their usefulness as a clinical support tool.

Child & Adolescent Rating Scales for Core Outcome Measures

Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC)Psychosocial dysfunction35Clinician
Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (MCHAT)Autism spectrum disorders23Clinician
CRAFFTSubstance abuse9Clinician
Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ)Depression, dysthymia7-17 yrs Long form (39 items) and short form (13 items)Parent and youth
Patient Health Questionnaire Adolescent (PHQ-A)Depression, dysthymia12 – 19 yrs (9 items)Youth
Vanderbilt ADHD Rating Scale-ParentADHD, scored for ADHD subscales, ODD, and conduct disorder, performance6-17 yrs (55 items)Parent
Vanderbilt ADHD Rating Scale-TeacherAs above6-17 yrs (43 items)Teacher
Scale Child Assessment of Anxiety and Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED)Anxiety (general anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia)7-17 yrs (41 items)Parent and youth
A Core Set of Outcome Measures for Behavioral Health Across Service Settings, The Kennedy Forum

Proprietary Rating Scales for Assessing Multiple Domains

OQ®-45.2Symptom distress (depression and anxiety); interpersonal relationships (loneliness, conflict with others and marriage and family difficulties); social role (difficulties in the workplace, school or home duties)Adultsoqmeasures.com/oq-45-2/
M-3 Checklist™Depression, bipolar, anxiety disorders, PTSD, functional impairment, SUDAdults (3 minutes to complete)Whatsmym3.com (public domain for individual use) m3information.com
BH-Works™Demographic, medical, school, family, safety, substance use, sexuality, nutrition and eating, anxiety, depression, suicide risk, psychosis, and trauma and abuseChild, adolescent (length varies based on results)
Recovery Track™SUDAdultsClinician reported outcomes
SF-12™General medical and mental functional status12Optum (proprietary for scoring)
Wellness Assessment™Global distress (depression, anxiety, low self-efficacy, and impaired functioning associated with psychological and emotional distress); general health and medical comorbidity; workplace functioning (absenteeism and presenteeism); chemical dependency riskAdults, youthOptum (proprietary for scoring)
A Core Set of Outcome Measures for Behavioral Health Across Service Settings, The Kennedy Forum

PsyPack Assessment Solution for Measurement Based Care

PsyPack serves as a cornerstone of measurement-based care, offering a comprehensive suite of assessments covering a broad spectrum of mental health domains. With PsyPack, clinicians have access to a versatile platform that not only meets the requirements set forth by organizations like the Kennedy Forum and the APA but also surpasses expectations by offering alternatives for proprietary assessments not covered in its extensive library.

With its user-friendly online administration platform, clinicians can seamlessly administer assessments to patients, whether in-person or remotely, ensuring flexibility and accessibility in care delivery. Automated scoring and reporting features streamline the analysis process, providing clinicians with timely insights into patient progress. PsyPack’s intuitive graphing tools further enhance understanding by presenting assessment outcomes in visually appealing formats. Moreover, PsyPack prioritizes the security of patient data, employing robust measures for secure data storage that align with HIPAA compliance standards. By combining advanced technology with an extensive library of assessments, PsyPack empowers clinicians to make informed treatment decisions, promote early intervention, and optimize patient outcomes in a manner that respects patient privacy and confidentiality.