Fostering practice-based evidence through routine outcome monitoring in a university psychotherapy service for common mental health problems: a protocol for a naturalistic, observational study

Jorge Valdiviezo-Oña, Adrián Montesano, Chris Evans, Clara Paz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Data-informed psychotherapy and routine outcome monitoring are growing as referents in psychotherapy research and practice. In Ecuador, standardised web-based routine outcome monitoring systems have not been used yet, precluding data-driven clinical decisions and service management. Hence, this project aims at fostering and disseminating practice-based evidence in psychotherapy in Ecuador by implementing a web-based routine outcome monitoring system in a university psychotherapy service. This is a protocol for an observational naturalistic longitudinal study. Progress and outcomes of treatment in the Centro de Psicología Aplicada of the Universidad de Las Américas in Quito, Ecuador will be examined. Participants will be adolescents and adults (≥11 years) seeking treatment, as well as therapists and trainees working at the centre between October 2022 and September 2025. Clients' progress will be monitored by a range of key variables: psychological distress, ambivalence to change, family functioning, therapeutic alliance and life satisfaction. Sociodemographic information and satisfaction with treatment data will be collected before and at the end of treatment, respectively. Also, semi-structured interviews to explore therapists' and trainees' perceptions, expectations and experiences will be conducted. We will analyse first contact data, psychometrics of the measures, reliable and clinically significant change, outcome predictors as well as trajectories of changes. Moreover, we will conduct a framework analysis for the interviews. The protocol for this study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (#PV-10-2022). The results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed scientific articles, at conferences and in workshops. NCT05343741. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e071875
    JournalBMJ Open
    Issue number5
    Early online date24 May 2023
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2023


    • Universities
    • Change management
    • Quality in health care
    • Clinical audit
    • Affect
    • Adolescent
    • Observational Studies as Topic
    • Mental Health
    • Psychotherapy
    • Longitudinal Studies
    • Protocols & guidelines
    • EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training)
    • Adult
    • Latin America
    • Humans

    Cite this