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Innovative app improving access to family therapy tool being presented at the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice

The team behind the SCORE-15 app, which allows families to easily record the main outcome measure used by family therapists in the UK, is presenting at the Using SCORE-15 Therapeutically: enhancing the client’s voice webinar on Thursday 9 November. The Family Therapy and Systemic Research Centre, which is hosted at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, developed the app to enable SCORE data to become part of the therapy process for families and therapists.

Dr Charlotte Burck and Astrid Winkler, Director and Associate Director of FTSRC, will present the innovative SCORE-15 app at a workshop for the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT). The workshop is based on findings from Claire Sammut’s doctoral research investigating the usefulness within therapeutic services of the incorporation of SCORE-15 and the Wellbeing index. Findings show they help increase the client’s voice in therapy and during clinical case management supervision. The app will enable further research and clinical development of this kind.

SCORE-15 is a self-report questionnaire which takes less than 10 minutes and is completed by family members to measure family functioning. It is the main outcome measure used by family therapists in the UK and can be used by any practitioner whose work focuses on the quality of people’s relationships. It provides rich information about people’s different experiences and perspectives on their relationships and can be used to inform therapeutic practice as well as evaluate changes and effectiveness of practice. Until the app was developed the SCORE measure had only been available on paper which limited access and usability.

The Family Therapy and Systemic Research Centre (FTSRC) developed the SCORE-15 app almost two years ago. The app enables family members to fill in the measure more easily by doing so on their own device, from any place, at any time. This has been transformative in widening access to this useful tool. The app generates clear and easy to read graphics, charts and graphs, allowing families and therapists to look at and compare the results together in the therapy session and think about their meanings and how this may contribute to the therapeutic work. This has empowered families by eliciting their perspectives more explicitly and giving feedback to the therapy process.

The app is currently used all over the world with around 1700 users including clinicians at other mental health trusts throughout the UK and groups in Bosnia, the Netherlands and Australia. The app is available to all therapists free of charge, you can find out more and register on the SCORE-15 website.

The FTSRC was developed by Charlotte while she was teaching at the Tavistock and Portman to provide a research community for our doctorate and masters programmes and systemic psychotherapy staff. Charlotte set up our M10 Doctorate and taught in our M6 Masters programme in the 1990s, and is a Honorary Consultant in Systemic Psychotherapy at the Trust. You can find out more about our systemic and family therapy courses on our education website. Our Education and Training website enables the FTSRC to share rich resources with the field and benefit students, families and therapists in their practice. The FTSRC supports and promotes research and collates the latest research in the field to provide a resource for families seeking evidence for the effectiveness of family therapy, systemic therapists continuing to develop their practice, researchers and service providers and policy makers. Their page includes groupings of topics so the latest research and evidence in difference areas can quickly and easily be found. You can find out more about their work, access resources and sign up to their mailing list from their page on our education website.

Dr Charlotte Burck, Director of the Family Therapy and Systemic Research Centre, said: “We have been delighted with the feedback we have received from clinicians using the app with families to enrich the therapy and to allow the family to give regular feedback about the therapy process, and from researchers incorporating the app to increase the usage and return of the questionnaires to improve outcome studies.”