Measuring children’s therapy results with the ORS and CORS

Measuring children's therapy results with the ORS and CORS

Feedback is a big part of knowing what’s working and what isn’t in your current approach to something, and therapy is no different. It’s especially important to get a solid understanding of this when you’re working with a child, though it can also be especially difficult to get effective, reliable feedback from children as well. To best be able to get simple, useful feedback to inform your approach to child therapy, the Outcome Rating Scale, or ORS, is your most important tool.

MyOutcomes strives to provide therapists and councillors with the tools and software to make sessions more effective for their patients, no matter who they are or what their therapy needs may be. We’ve written before about some of the specific reasons why tracking patients’ therapy progress is important. This post will focus on how the Outcome Rating Scale functions as an effective tool to do that with child patients.

What is the ORS?

The Outcome Rating Scale is a four-item rating form which measures broad, significant areas of a patient’s life. It’s given to the patient each session so that their therapist/councillor can get a sense of a patient’s progress in these broad areas. It can inform the practitioner how a patient’s ability to function is improving or degrading, and by extension, where they should focus their therapeutic efforts and potentially adjust their approach.

The Outcome Rating Scale has been used for over two decades and has proven itself as a reliable instrument for positive therapeutic outcomes. Due to its simplicity, it’s easy to integrate into sessions and is easily understandable by virtually any type of person it’s used with. This is an important part of what makes it a valuable tool to use for child patients. It can also be done fairly quickly without cutting significantly into a patient’s session time.

The version of this scale specifically intended for a child is the CORS. Whereas the standard ORS is designed for the reading comprehension of a 13-year-old or older, the CORS is designed with children aged 6-12 in mind. The differences mainly consist of more child-friendly language and emotion-conveying faces that help them better understand how to rate their experiences.

Why use the ORS or CORS?

The ORS and CORS are useful for more than just finding the right approach in child therapy sessions. They also help therapists and councillors identify negative outcomes that may be appearing as a result of their approach. Additionally, they give practitioners a better sense of how their patient responds to them generally. This is helpful for preventing those patients from stopping their therapy sessions entirely. We’ve written on our blog before about some of the reasons a patient might give up on therapy, as informed by the data from an outcome tracker.

An important part of how MyOutcomes’ software works is plotting the anticipated trajectory of your Outcome Rating Scale responses over the course of the patient’s sessions with you. This allows you to see your actual progress compared to your expected progress with the patient, in addition to giving you a sense of the patient’s perceptions of their own progress and their response to your therapeutic approach.

The ORS and CORS are also both very remote-friendly tools to use if you can’t meet physically with your client, especially using our tools. It’s as simple as giving the patient login access to our web app or mobile app. This functionality makes soliciting feedback and having quantitative data to inform your approach nearly as simple as if it were a standard, in-person therapy session. You can read more about how exactly this works in our FAQ.

Learn more about patient outcome tracking

If you’d like to learn more about how our outcome tracking tools can make your sessions with children and other groups more effective, send us a message now. Whether you’re looking for feedback-driven solutions as a sole practitioner or you’re representing a larger organization, our tools will help you find what’s working faster and make better progress with your patients.