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The young person's CORE: development of a brief outcome measure for young people

Cooper, Mick (2009) The young person's CORE: development of a brief outcome measure for young people. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, Volume 9 (Issue ). pp. 160-168. ISSN 1473-3145

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Abstract

Background: There is a need for a user-friendly measure of change for use in school and youth counselling services which is easy for practitioners to administer and score, and which is appropriate for brief interventions. Aims: To develop such a measure and to present psychometric data on reliability, validity and sensitivity to change for the measure. Method: We employed a three-stage approach: first, creating a pool of potential items; second, developing an 18-item version; and third, refining to a final version comprising 10 items. We called the measure the Young Person's CORE (YP-CORE). Results: The measure comprised eight negative and two positive items and included a single (negatively-framed) risk-to-self item. Psychometric properties were all acceptable. Sensitivity to change was good and yielded an average improvement of 10 points on the YP-CORE in a clinical group, broadly equivalent to changes in adult versions (e.g. Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation - Outcome Measure (CORE-OM)). Conclusion: Initial validation work showed the measure to be well designed and sensitive to change. Analysis showed considerable variability as a function of age and gender suggesting the need for the collection of a large and diverse data set in order to produce gender and age-specific norms.