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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 2, 129 - 134

Short report

Routine monitoring: the interpretation of graphical feedback inevitably involves subjectivity

A. Hafkenscheid

summary
background Most systems for routine monitoring provide therapists with graphical feedback. Many therapists, however, find it extremely difficult to interpret graphs.
aim To increase therapists’ awareness that the interpretation of graphical feedback is inevitably a subjective process.
method A single case was analysed in which the objective graphical scores for successive patient-therapist sessions were shown on two monitor instruments. The scores were then compared with the patient’s verbal reactions to the scores and score differences.
results The clinical example demonstrates that the interpretation of ‘objective’ graphical feedback depends on the commentary given by the patient.
conclusion Routine monitoring is a subjective process which does not simply reveal the secrets of treatment processes and outcomes; what it does is to raise the lid of ‘the black box’ very slightly

keywords graphs, ROM, subjectivity