Development of Quality Measures for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a debilitating, chronic condition that affects many aspects of functioning and well-being. While there has been substantial improvement in the types and effectiveness of treatments for individuals diagnosed with PTSD, there is a clear gap between what is known about effective treatments and what providers actually implement. Quality-improvement initiatives that measure providers’ use of evidence-based strategies and promote feedback may enhance the adoption of evidence-based services and ultimately improve quality of care and health outcomes.

This project involves developing and pre-testing a quality measure of PTSD care in ambulatory settings. In the early stages of the project, we worked with staff from the National Committee for Quality Assurance to review clinical guidelines, existing measures, and scientific literature to identify potential measure concepts and topics. A group of experts reviewed the findings and prioritized concepts for measure development. We provided the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and the National Institute of Mental Health with a summary of measure development opportunities.

As a result of that review, we are now developing a web-based survey of the delivery of evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD. We will partner with behavioral health organizations to pre-test the survey in a sample of clinicians, their clinical supervisors, and consumers. The results will provide a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of implementing the surveys, their usefulness for quality improvement, and their reliability and validity.