TECHNICAL INFORMATION ::: outcome categories
a rational approach to outcome measurement is to select a mix of different categories of scales


Generic Measures

Scales that can be used across a whole sector - in this case health and social care.

Generic measures answer questions such as:

  • How ill are people with addiction problems compared to other users of health care?

  • How complex are the health problems?

  • What is the illness profile of people with addictions?

  • What benefits does treatment have for society as a whole?

  • Is treatment cost effective?

  • What have been the wider savings achieved?

  • Have there been public health gains?

Generic measures address: health status, health diagnoses, societal impact measures. Societal impact measures are not scales, rather bits of information pertinent to health and social care which are often wanted by politicians and managers. Examples are: A&E attendances, number of offences, benefit payments.


Dimension Measures

Scales that can be used across a field - in this case addiction. 

Dimension measures answer questions such as:

  • How severe is the addiction?

  • How problematic are the different elements of the addiction?

  • How difficult is treatment likely to be?

  • Do problems persist after treatment?

  • How good is one addiction service compared to another?

Dimension measures address: substance use and misuse, psychological wellbeing, social wellbeing.


Condition Specific Measures

Scales that can be used to rate a particular disorder

Condition specific measures answer questions such as:

  • How severe is the specific addiction related diagnosis or problem?

  • How effective is treatment for this specific problem?

  • How do services targeting the condition compare?

The list of condition specific measures is limited only by the range of addiction related disorders or problems. Common examples are: substance dependence, mental health problems, accidents, family functioning, addiction related physical health problems.


Societal Impact Measures

These measures are normally not scales, rather they are measures that are important and meaningful for policy makers, economic evaluation, or simply of current interest.

The list of societal impact measures is unlimited. Examples are:

  • Attendance at A&E

  • Attendance at primary care clinics

  • Prescription costs

  • Payment of benefits


Scientific articles on Categories of Outcome

⓵ Fitzpatrick R, Davey C, Buxton MJ and Jones DR (1998) Evaluating patient-based outcome measures for use in clinical trials. Health Technology Assessment; 2(14)  📚 PMID: 9812244  View: PDF