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Defining relevant outcomes 

Defining relevant outcomes
Defining relevant outcomes

Paul Bolton

and Judith Bass

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date: 12 November 2018

Defining relevant outcomes for mental health and related intervention trials requires consultation with a range of experts and stakeholders and the population for whom the services are being provided. The latter is not often consulted systematically, but doing so is necessary to ensure that their priorities are addressed within the study objectives and outcomes, and that instruments measure the outcomes accurately. Doing so will increase the likelihood that the services being tested, if found effective, will be sustained after the trial is completed. Changes in the types of outcomes assessed in these trials are not static. Once the intervention is over these changes may continue to accumulate or decline with time. Wherever possible it is important to measure outcomes over time, at specific intervals after the intervention is completed. Outcomes that measure amount of change will be more appropriate to tracking long-term impacts of interventions.

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