"If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." (Peter Drucker)
Measuring the change in your clients is essential in EFT. As an EFT practitioner you will definitely use SUDS, and most probably know that this stands for Subjective Units of Distress Scale, but did you know that this is an actual outcome measure that was developed by Joseph Wolpe in 1969? Well, you do now! So, you also really do need to provide a reference when writing about SUDS, for example in published research or in case studies. The reference is:
Wolpe, Joseph (1969), The Practice of Behavior Therapy, New York: Pergamon Press, ISBN 0080065635
Other Outcome Measures
There are, however innumerable other outcome measures that you can use to measure client outcomes. Finding and selecting the right outcome measure can be a challenge. A great place to start is by looking at the outcome measures already used in EFT research and in published EFT case studies. Some of these outcome measures are listed below. This is by no means a definitive list.
- BAI - Beck Anxiety Inventory
- BAT - Behavioural Approach Task
- CPAQ - Chronic Pain Acceptance Scale
- CAPS-Clinically Administered PTSD Scale
- FQ-Fear Questionnaire FOSAQ - Fear of Specific Animal
- GSE - Swedish General Self-Efficacy Scale
- HAD – Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
- Questionnaire; PCS - Pain Catastrophizing Scale
- PCL-C - PTSD Checklist
- SWLS - Satisfaction with Life Scale
- SUDS - Subjective Unit of Distress
- TAI-Test Anxiety Inventory
- VAS –visual analogue scales
Other than a simple online search, another place to look is the book by Ann Bowling called Measuring Disease: A review of Disease-Specific Quality of Life Measurement Scales, which outlines a vast range of assessment instruments. Although it is rather dated now as it was published in 2001, and is it available for FREE online and is well worth a look: https://www.mheducation.co.uk/openup/chapters/0335206417.pdf
Another resource is the outcomes database maintained by The Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research (IN-CAM): ‘The Outcomes Database is a dedicated research tool that provides a structured search system for identifying outcome measures of particular importance to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative health care/integrative medicine (IHC/IM) effectiveness and efficacy research.’ This searchable database describes each outcome measure across nine different areas, such as social, physical, psychological, quality of life and shows a sample of each. It also provides information on the reliability and validity of each instrument, how to administer it and the reference. You do need to be a member to access this and further details are available at: http://www.outcomesdatabase.org/
Objective and Physiological Measures
In addition to the subjective, self-report outcome manures shown above, it can be also be really useful to use objective physiological measures such as salivary cortisol to measure stress levels in the body, for example Dr Dawson Church’s work with cortisol levels. Other objective measures include Functional MRI scans as used in Dr Peta Stapleton’s research on weight loss. These are however, expensive and require training.
"Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change." (Thomas Hardy)
Outcome measures are really useful to assess clients before they start EFT and also to assess the change in clients during and after EFT. The simplest way to gather this data is to ask your clients to fill in an outcome measure or scale. Change is based on scores before the start of EFT (called a Baseline score) and if possible, on more than one occasion, to give you a baseline measure pre-EFT. It is then best to repeat this outcome measure every week, or at every therapy session, and to make sure that this is completed at the very last EFT session. It can also be incredibly useful to follow-up your client over time to see how they have fared post-EFT and if the changes have been maintained, so, perhaps follow them up at a month, 6-weeks, or even 6-months or a year after EFT and ask them to complete your chosen outcome measures at these points too.