Evaluation of brief outpatient services in a children's mental health community clinic
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
SubjectBrief outpatient services
Children's mental health
MetadataShow full item record
In the past two decades, increased emphasis has been placed on the use of brief treatment services in clinical practice with youth. However, despite the common use of such services, there is a lack of research evaluating the effectiveness of this treatment approach, especially pertaining to brief services that are four sessions or less. The current study addressed this gap in the literature by evaluating the effectiveness of a Brief Service program consisting of four treatment sessions or less. It also investigated how therapeutic alliance, client satisfaction, youth and parent psychopathology, and caregiver strain were related to treatment effectiveness. A pre/post-treatment design was used in order to determine if successful treatment outcomes could be attributed to the Brief Services. Specifically, families with children under 18 years of age who would normally be assigned to Brief Services within a local children’s mental health centre were invited to participate. Participants (N = 33) received brief outpatient treatment at the Children's Centre Thunder Bay (CCTB), which involved one to four sessions over a maximum of six weeks. The CCTB Brief Service program was found to be effective in reducing child and parent mental health issues and caregiver strain. Clients were satisfied overall with their experiences at CCTB as well. Client ratings of therapeutic alliance were associated with treatment satisfaction for sessions one and two, and changes in youth mental health for session two. Parent and youth depression, anxiety, and stress were not associated with treatment outcomes in youth or caregiver strain.