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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 12, 767 - 744

Review article

The future of ROM: computerised adaptive testing

G. Flens, E. de Beurs

background Measurement instruments that are used for monitoring patients in mental health care are developed according to the principles of classical test theory. Because the assumptions underlying this theory are outdated, this is a good time to work towards a new method of measurement known as computerised adaptive testing (cat), the method being based on item response theory.
aim To introduce the cat-methodology into Dutch mental health care, and provide an overview of the current and desirable developments.
method We explain what cat is and why mental health care should warmly welcome this new development. We also outline the limitations of cat, summarise the developments that have already been made nationally and internationally and consider some developments we think are desirable.
results promis item banks for anxiety and depression for adults show that cat is more efficient than instruments currently in use and is able to produce very precise outcomes.
conclusion The first cats for anxiety and depression will be available late 2017 or early 2018 for adults receiving mental health care in the Netherlands. Recent results are very impressive and cat-technology will increase the efficiency of symptom measurements, bringing these measurements to a higher level.

keywords anxiety, computerised adaptive testing, depression, item response theory, routine outcome monitoring