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18-08-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2016

Client Report of Delivery of Common Elements in Usual Care and the Association to Satisfaction

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2016
Emily V. Trask, Kya Fawley-King, Ann F. Garland, Gregory A. Aarons


Recently, scholars have advocated for the use of a new flexible approach to evidence-based practice through the use of “common elements”, which are treatment procedures that are utilized in a variety of evidence-based mental health interventions. The objective of this study was to describe the extent to which clinicians are using common elements of evidence-based treatment (EBT) in routine mental health care for children and if they are utilizing more of the elements associated with their client’s diagnosis. A second objective was to determine whether use of these elements was associated with client satisfaction. The Youth Services Survey was administered to a diverse sample of youth and their caregivers (total sample = 1075) to measure satisfaction with services and use of both talk-based and skill-based common elements. More than 74 % of caregivers indicated that their child’s clinician utilized the talk-based common elements frequently or almost always. Additionally, at least 69 % of youth agreed with this finding. Youth and caregivers reported that the common elements related to skill building were utilized less frequently. A Generalized Estimating Equation approach was used to examine the relationship between use of common elements and client diagnosis and satisfaction. The results for diagnosis were mixed and varied by parent and youth report. Finally, the more clinicians discussed and practiced common elements of EBT with their clients, both youth and caregivers were more likely to be satisfied. Due to clients’ reporting that on average clinicians utilized skill building common elements less often, targeted clinician training may be important, since practicing skill-building therapeutic elements is key to adopting new methods of managing behavior and emotions. Further, if families are more satisfied with a common elements approach, then clinicians may be more likely to utilize it.

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