Using Routine Quality of Life Assessment to Improve Effectiveness of Community Mental Health Care

  • Domenico GiaccoEmail author
  • Stefan Priebe


The assessment of quality of life (QoL) refers to how patients experience important domains of their life such as personal relationships, employment, housing, and physical and mental health. Such assessments can be meaningful to patients and helpful in routine mental health-care meetings.

Regularly assessing QoL during clinical meetings provides a framework for a structured and comprehensive evaluation of patients’ problems. This may facilitate patient involvement in selecting problems to be discussed and in taking action to tackle such problems.

We participated in the development and evaluation of intervention models based on these principles.

Their research evaluation showed that that routine QoL assessment and provision of feedback to patients and clinicians in itself do not improve outcomes. However, it can be an important part of more complex interventions. These interventions may involve a patient-centered approach, use of information technologies, and training of clinicians to a brief psychological intervention; they are effective in improving QoL and other patients’ outcomes.

In this chapter, we will describe the conceptual refinement over time of these interventions and their evidence base. The structural components of these interventions will be illustrated with quotes from patients and clinicians who have experienced them and a clinical vignette. We will then offer recommendations for further research in this field, within and beyond community mental health care.


Quality of life Interventions Community mental health care 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry(WHO Centre for Mental Health Service Development), Queen Mary University of London, East London NHS Foundation Trust, Newham Centre for Mental HealthLondonUK

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