Optimizing Outcome Through Prediction and Measurement of Psychological Functioning
In recent years, government agencies, professional organizations, thirdparty payers, and consumers have been placing increased pressure on mental health service providers to be more accountable for the services they render. In response to this increased pressure, many clinicians and mental health service agencies have begun to implement quality management systems in their clinical practices (Barkham et al., 2001; Beutler, 2001; Kordy, Hannöver, & Richard, 2001; Lambert, Hansen, & Finch, 2001; Lueger et al., 2001). Quality management systems are designed to ensure that patients are being provided with high-quality treatment at an affordable cost (i.e., cost-effective treatment). There are two fundamental components of quality management systems that provide a basis for optimizing patient treatment outcomes: the prediction of patient treatment response and the measurement of patient change throughout the course of psychotherapy.