Utilizing Measurement-Informed Care in Building Treatment Plans

This article explores how measurement-informed care (MIC) aids treatment planning in practice as well as culturally responsive use of MIC in informing treatment planning. 

Building better treatment plans with measurement-informed care

MIC is a valuable tool for therapists of any theoretical orientation or approach to develop targeted treatment plans. MIC helps therapists create treatment plans tailored to a client's specific needs. By tracking client self-reported data on symptom severity and the strength of the therapeutic alliance, therapists can break down larger therapeutic goals into smaller, achievable steps. Focusing on measurable objectives makes the healing journey more manageable for both clients and therapists. Here are a few ways in which MIC can support treatment planning. 

Measurement-informed care enhances communication

By collaboratively reviewing client responses to MIC surveys, a shared language is established for discussing the client's treatment needs, goals, and progress. Clear goals and objectives act as a roadmap, ensuring everyone is on the same page about the treatment direction. This shared understanding strengthens the therapeutic alliance, fostering a more effective and beneficial experience.

Measurement-informed care can boost client motivation

Regularly assessing symptoms, the therapeutic alliance, and clinical progress, followed by updating the treatment plan as needed, empowers client investment in goal setting and recovery. Monitoring progress over time through MIC scores provides tangible evidence of treatment targets and improvement, which boosts motivation and hope – essential elements for any mental health recovery journey.

Culturally responsive use of measurement-informed care in treatment planning

MIC relies on client self-reported data, a valuable tool when used thoughtfully. However, it's imperative to consider individual and cultural factors that might influence client responses to surveys and the interpretation of those scores in treatment planning.  

For instance, alongside reviewing scores, consider holding space to discuss these factors with your client to ensure a culturally responsive treatment plan:

  • Views on mental health: Explore how the client (and their cultural community and/or family) views mental health, including their understanding of the problem's origin. This can influence symptom perception and self-report scores. 

  • Help-seeking history: Discuss past experiences with mental health services. Consider factors like stigma, previous negative experiences, access to culturally competent care, and family support. This can impact a client's willingness to engage in treatment and respond openly to measures. Consider asking:
    • “Has anything prevented you from getting the help you needed in the past? For example, fear or distrust of mental health treatment, previous negative experiences with treatment, stigma or discrimination, systemic racism and traumas, family judgment/lack of support, or lack of access to services that understand your identity(s) language, and/or community.

  • Recovery goals: Ensure client goals align with their cultural identity and values. Avoid imposing goals from outside sources (e.g., therapist, family).

  • Culturally bound approaches: Explore the client's experiences with traditional healers or other culturally specific treatment approaches. This can inform the overall treatment plan. Consider asking:
    • “Often, people look for help from many different sources, including different kinds of doctors, helpers, or healers. In the past, what kinds of treatment, help, advice, or healing have you sought for your (presenting problem)? What types of help or treatment were most useful? Not useful?

A culturally sensitive and appropriate treatment plan is key. This ensures that MIC and the treatment planning process are relevant and responsive to the client's unique needs.

Example treatment plan goals and objectives

Want to see examples of treatment plan goals and objectives that incorporate MIC? Click HERE

Was this article helpful?

0 out of 0 found this helpful