Measurement-based care is a practice of basing clinical care on client data collected during treatment1. This data can be collected in various ways, but historically measurement-based care in behavioral health has been based on subjective self-reporting that only captures a moment in time. Measurement-based care done in this way has commonly included the administration of self-reporting scales or assessments.
Advances in smartphone measurement and mobile sensing offer another layer of health measurement: objective continuous behavioral health measurement. Continuous behavioral health measurement provides clinicians and care teams with behavioral health insights that are often be missed by subjective scales and assessments. By passively and continuously measuring smartphone app usage, communication, general mobility, and sensor data like accelerometers to measure physical activity and other behaviors relevant to mental health, digital platforms can better assess an individual’s mental health status to enable clinicians to intervene with personalized support.
This objective measurement component enables a real-time measurement-based care system to enhance care delivery by going beyond common subjective assessments.
Subjective data, often self-reported, are acquired through surveys or scales where patients report on behaviors, feelings, and attitudes. This self-reporting relies on the awareness, effort, and perception of respondents. It provides important insight into how patients perceive their mental condition but often lacks objectivity. Self-reporting scales, commonly used in clinical practice, include the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item depression scale (PHQ-9) and 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7). They are useful for monitoring depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
Objective data are acquired by passively and automatically measuring behavior through sensors in digital devices or other external observation devices without requiring active, cumbersome reporting from the patient. Insights from continuous objective platforms measure real-world patient behavior independent of individual perceptions. This kind of real-world data gathered from continuous behavioral health measurement can fill gaps in the more common subjective, self-reported measurement-based care data. Continuous objective data provides a more reliable connection between clinician and patient that allows for interventions that can prevent relapse, strengthen the therapeutic alliance, and improve behavioral health outcomes. It can also be provided across care specialties to integrate behavioral health into all types of care. Mental health is health, and this added objective measurement component is a breakthrough in integrating measurement across the continuum of care.
Continuous behavioral health measurement is ongoing and automatic. This new level of measurement-based care goes beyond patient reported outcomes and provides real-world information about what is happening between appointments. Data collected between visits gives improved behavioral health intelligence to clinicians
by providing real-world data and evidence, equipping systems to conduct more effective appointments, manage larger patient populations, and better understand the correlation between intervention mixes and health outcomes. Continuous behavioral health measurement is also lessens the patient’s reporting burden and any stress that may accompany it.
This new level of measurement-based care is a unique breakthrough in health care and provides a layer of insight that enables practitioners to automatically measure, predict, and intervene for their patients. Continuous behavioral health measurement allows practitioners to objectively assess patient behavior to have better indicators of mental states than self-reporting can provide on its own. It also helps to provide effortless remote patient monitoring, enabling providers to effectively triage and treat patients across the continuum of care.
If you are interested in adding objective continuous behavioral health measurement to your measurement-based care program or sysytem, we’d be happy to share about how Ksana Health’s continuous behavioral health measurement platform can improve your care delivery.
8 February 2022
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