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Australas Psychiatry. 2011 Jun;19(3):247-53. doi: 10.3109/10398562.2011.562507.

The multiple uses of routine mental health outcome measures in Australia and New Zealand: experiences from the field.

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  • 1Training and Service Development, Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network, New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry, Parramatta, NSW, Australia.



The aim of this paper is to describe the way in which particular Australian and New Zealand mental health services are making use of routine outcome data to foster clinical improvements for consumers.


We invited individuals who are responsible for implementing outcome data collection across the two countries to describe exemplary practices occurring within their own services, and present the resultant information in the form of case studies.


Outcome measurement is being used to guide clinical decision-making, engage consumers in treatment, foster a collaborative approach to care planning and goal setting, review consumers' progress with treatment, inform questions about consumers' eligibility for given programs, assist with discharge planning, improve the evidence-base on which services are founded, and evaluate particular models of service delivery.


A number of mental health services are deriving useful information from routine outcome measurement, and using this to guide clinical practice. The examples provided here may offer some lessons for other services wishing to make better use of outcome data, and there may be some opportunities for the sharing of resources or infrastructure. Services that are already using outcome data to inform their clinical activities, and services that are keen to do so, will need ongoing support.

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