A service evaluation of the assessment process in a Step4 Psychological Therapies Service

Robinson, Amie, De Boos, Danielle and Moghaddam, Nima (2023) A service evaluation of the assessment process in a Step4 Psychological Therapies Service. Mental Health Review Journal, 28 (2). pp. 167-179. ISSN 1361-9322

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-07-2022-0047

A service evaluation of the assessment process in a Step4 Psychological Therapies Service
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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Purpose This study aims to improve the efficiency of the assessment process within a Step4 Psychological Therapies Service by identifying factors related to assessment non-attendance and service suitability for referred clients. Design/methodology/approach Referral and assessment information was accessed between October 2019 and March 2020 from Step4 routine service data, electronic client records where necessary and Step4 staff self-report questionnaires. Findings All clients offered an assessment during this time attended. Findings indicated several factors could influence service suitability in meeting client need. These included individual differences such as readiness to change, which was not necessarily identified at referral or prior to assessment, and potential systemic factors, such as the opt-in procedure, which possibly impeded access. Though the necessity for assessment in clarifying client needs and treatment was indicated, an assessment (from referral to assessment appointment) that led to discharge could take an excess of one working day of service time, associated with considerable opportunity cost to other clients awaiting assessment. Recommendations are made for improving assessment efficiency. Originality/value With a high prevalence of poor mental health in the UK, efforts must be made to identify and reduce additional demand upon service time and resources within mental health services to effectively meet people�s needs. Recommendations to improve assessment process efficiency include the use of a standardised referral form, offer of follow-up support procedures, increased client involvement, a streamlined opt-in battery and ongoing monitoring to ensure shared practice between clinicians. These are transferable to other mental health services, with implications for subsequent quality and timeliness of care.

Keywords:service evaluation, mental health, psychological assessment
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE > School of Psychology
ID Code:54676
Deposited On:12 Sep 2023 11:06

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