Goal Measures for psychotherapy: A systematic review of self-report, idiographic instruments

Chris Lloyd, Charlie Duncan, Mick Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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Routine outcome monitoring can support client progress in psychotherapy and provide evidence on population-level outcomes. However, measures have been almost exclusively nomothetic. Idiographic tools provide a complementary approach, combining individually set outcomes with standardized progress ratings. Evidence suggests that goal-focused idiographic measures may particularly facilitate client progress, and this systematic review aimed to identify and critically evaluate such measures, as used in psychotherapy. In total, 104 texts were eligible for inclusion in the review, with nine measures identified. These took the form of multidimensional tools, brief rating forms, and goal attainment scaling. Psychometric and clinical evidence suggests that these measures may be appropriate tools for supporting client progress, but there is insufficient evidence to validate their use for population-level evaluation.

© 2019, American Psychological Association. The attached document (embargoed until 12/04/2020) is an author produced version of a paper published in CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: SCIENCE AND PRACTICE uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2019


  • Routine outcome monitoring (ROM)
  • patient-generated measures (PGM)
  • goals
  • outcome and process assessment
  • idiographic
  • patient reported outcome measures (PROMS)

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