Evidence-based assessment/Progress and process measures/Brinley plots

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Both researchers and clinicians struggle with how to measure clinical change. A nomothetic approach, which favors examining group outcomes and universal laws, is the typical method of assessing clinical change in large-scale trials, but an idiographic approach, which favors assessment of individual outcomes, may be more appropriate for practicing clinicians, who are typically working with small and diverse samples (Barlow & Nock, 2009). One such idiographic approach is the use of modified Brinley plots. Modified Brinley plots provide a graphical depiction of individual change that considers individual variation in treatment response and clinically significant improvement or deterioration (Blampied, 2017). While a treatment may be empirically supported and effective at the group level, using Brinley plots allows a practicing clinician to see if a given treatment works for a given individual. Furthermore, calculating the Reliable Change Index lets the clinician compare their client’s scores to standardized data from previous trials, to see if a change in score is statistically and/or clinically meaningful.

Collecting the appropriate standardized data for a given client and measure can be challenging and time-consuming, however. That is why we are setting up a way of sharing the information here. We are building tables populated with relevant standardized information, and we are exploring setting up an online calculator clinicians could easily enter a client’s data in order to ascertain their level of clinical change. We will also include templates of modified Brinley plots, into which clinicians could enter individual client’s data to generate a graphical depiction of their client’s change. All of these are ways to help clinicians to use evidence-based methods to assess their clients’ progress and response to treatment -- bringing the information to the people who would benefit.