Using Outcome Feedback to Improve Treatment For Depression and Anxiety

Using Outcome Feedback to Improve Treatment For Depression and Anxiety

An expected treatment response tool proven to reduce the risk of deterioration, improve outcomes and reduce treatment costs.

Depression and anxiety disorders are common and have a substantial impact on a person’s quality of life and functioning.

Although there are evidence-based talking treatments for depression and anxiety, a substantial proportion of people fail to respond to these interventions.

In Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services in England, for example, 50% of people who receive treatment do not meet recovery criteria by the end of treatment.

One strategy to improve clinical outcomes is to use Outcome Feedback technology.

What is Outcome Feedback?

Outcome Feedback technology is an evidence-based ‘expected treatment response’ tool that tracks symptoms and monitors patient responses.

Developed by PCMIS in partnership with therapists and researchers, Outcome Feedback helps monitor patient responses to treatment. The technology uses session-by-session measures of symptoms, which are benchmarked against clinical population norms derived from large clinical datasets.

At each treatment session, patients whose symptoms are more severe than those of similar cases at a similar stage of treatment are flagged as ‘not on track’, prompting the therapist and patient to work together to resolve obstacles to improvement.

The evidence…

Outcome Feedback was trialled nationally in NHS IAPT services, where it was found to help therapists quickly identify those at risk, reduce deterioration in complex cases by up to 73% and improve service efficiency. These findings were published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal.

An earlier, single service trial also found that patients treated using Outcome Feedback required significantly less therapy sessions to achieve similar levels of symptom improvement as those receiving standard treatment. This resulted in a cost saving of £97.54 per patient.  You can read the findings here.

What next?

Outcome Feedback is now being used as part of treatment across IAPT sites in 11 NHS Trusts across England, with more scheduled to complete training and implementation in the second half of 2019.

PCMIS and the research team behind Outcome Feedback have received funding to conduct a Health Economics Evaluation using the national trial data, to further explore the potential cost savings associated with using Outcome Feedback in treatment for depression and anxiety on a national scale.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about Outcome Feedback you can read our IAPT Case Study


Listen to lead researcher Dr Jaime Delgadillo in discussion with the Mental Health Foundation on their podcast.

If you’d like to ask PCMIS any questions about Outcome Feedback please email


PCMIS Health Technologies Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University of York, UK. We specialise in technology solutions designed to help healthcare providers effectively manage their services, whilst improving access and treatment outcomes for patients.

Our flagship product is ‘PCMIS’ (Patient Case Management Information System) - a flexible, intelligent and easy to use case management system that supports a wide range of mental health services in the UK and Australia.


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