Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bridging the Research-Practice Divide

A central problem in the growth of knowledge about human development and family life is providing effective ways to translate that knowledge into practice. There are many problems, but a central problem is how to provide a way for practitioners to help researchers understand more about their practical work.

There are so many outcomes of mental health, development and well-being and there are no easy ways to catalog this information. Nevertheless, NIH has been on the road trying to systematize outcomes for mental health treatment so that clinicians can provide similar outcome information across a wide range of clients and eventually across a wide range of treatment outcomes.

This is a massive undertaking already five years in development. Called, PROMIS, Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, an assessment system has been developed that draws on the best measures of pain, fatigue, depression, anger, social relationships and more and provides a dynamic system to allow clinicians to create and report reliable outcome data that can be shared across a wide range of treatment situations.

There is much for others to learn from this work in regards to how to build a successful feedback system for the measurement of other social, behavioral and educational efforts.

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