The ACAT Practice Research Network: What are ACAT Members' Views About What Constitutes a Minimum Dataset?

Pantke, R., 2003. The ACAT Practice Research Network: What are ACAT Members' Views About What Constitutes a Minimum Dataset?. Reformulation, Spring, p.28.


The ACAT Practice Research Network:
What are ACAT members' views about what constitutes a minimum dataset?

Executive Summary - Renate Pantke

The Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapists (ACAT) North commissioned a project looking into the possibilities of setting up a CAT Practice Research Network (PRN) which requires members to collect a minimum data set on each client which would be pooled to form the PRN. This survey attempted to gather ACAT members' views on what would constitute a minimum dataset. Those ACAT members who were contactable by e-mail received an e-mail outlining the background to the survey and asking respondents to indicate their views. ACAT sent the e-mail to 150 members. The return rate was very low at 7%. The information gained was collated into themes and analysed using Template Analysis. The finding and the recommendations arising from this survey are summarised below.

Summary of Findings:

 

  • The return rate for this survey was very low (7%), perhaps indicating that the non-respondents may not be as interested in a PRN or a minimum data set as the responders or that they do not feel sufficiently competent to comment.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, those who took part supported the setting up of an ACAT PRN.

Some reservations / questions were raised:

  • Questions around ethical approval for PRN studies.
  • The validity of measures that may be employed for all client groups.
  • Whether measures should be chosen on client characteristics and not be prescribed by the PRN.
  • The difficulties associated with incomplete datasets (i.e. when it is felt to be inappropriate to ask clients to complete measures)
  • The dilemma of gaining data on all factors that are known to affect mental health and hence therapeutic outcome vs. gathering a simple and small amount of routine data.

Measures:

  • Most participants thought that the CORE outcome measure was an essential part of a minimum dataset.
  • The Psychotherapy File was not seen as essential, and some participants felt strongly that it should not be included.
  • The BDI did not receive much support, neither did the HADS or the PSQ.
  • The majority of participants in this survey did not regard a measure of therapeutic alliance as 'essential'.
  • Some respondents reported that their services use other measures routinely such as Dyadgrid, IIP, or BSI for example.
  • A number of potential research questions were raised, and it was suggested that some measures could be used if tied to a specific research question.
  • One participant welcomed the possibility of a workshop at the ACAT meeting in March.

Recommendations:

  • The low response rate may suggest that the great majority of ACAT members are currently not as enthusiastic to set up a PRN as possibly the 7% of members who responded. This would affect the success of the PRN.
  • Steps need to be taken to give ACAT members more information and raise the profile of the potentials of a PRN. Non-responders need to be invited to raise their concerns and questions.
  • Non-responders may have some training needs that need to be met to facilitate their taking part in the PRN.
  • A discussion needs to take place with regard to these issues. This should take place at the ACAT meeting in March 2003.
  • An attempt should be made to involve a greater number of ACAT members in the discussion and set up of a PRN.
  • CORE outcome measure needs to be part of the minimum dataset.
  • Other measures need to be accommodated linked to specific research questions.
  • Other measures may be needed for different client groups.
  • The set up of the PRN needs to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate this.
  • Ethical and organisational issues need to be clarified, e.g. does the PRN need multi-centre ethics approval?

More work is to be undertaken on this together with the ACAT Research Committee.

Full Reference

Pantke, R., 2003. The ACAT Practice Research Network: What are ACAT Members' Views About What Constitutes a Minimum Dataset?. Reformulation, Spring, p.28.

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