Practice-Based Evidence

Using DASS-21 Data for
Practice-Based Evidence

Some of the most positive feedback I hear from NovoPsych users is the function that graphs results over time so you can visually monitor your client’s symptoms changing from session to session. This is a valuable tool to build insight about individual clients, but wouldn’t it be great to see how your entire client cohort is doing?

The good news is that you can. Let me show you how one NovoPsych user had used DASS-21 data.

Dr Nathan Castle consistently used NovoPsych to administer the DASS-21 almost every session. Then, after a year of data collection, he exported the data and crunched the numbers. As the data below shows, there was a clear difference between DASS-21 scores in the first session compared to discharge. And the more sessions someone attended, the more they benefited.

So that’s excellent, Dr Castle’s clients are improving, but they might be improving by chance, right? How do we know that the benefit was actually statistically significant? Well there is a way to determine that, its called the reliable change index, and this is what it showed:

Psychological therapy effectivness

This is great news, 67% of clients are seeing reliable improvement! And for the real stats nerds among us, let’s take a look at Dr Nathan Castle’s effect size (Cohen’s D)


This statistical information shows Nathan is a highly effective therapist. Of course, the key to learning how to improve any skill is feedback. NovoPsych helps clinicians get this feedback, either by symptom scales like the DASS-21 or therapeutic alliance scales like the ARM-5.

So where to from here? Well firstly I’d like to get your feedbackWould you be interested in having automated tools built into NovoPsych to give you a view on how your clients are doing as a group? At the moment, completing this analysis requires data to be exported from NovoPsych, but we would love to make the process simpler for you, if there is significant interest. 

Currently NovoPsych users have the option of doing the above analysis via a more manual method. The process involves exporting data from NovoPsych (currently a $110 fee) into your favourite statistics package. If you’re not statistically inclined you can contact Dr Nathan Castle who has offered his consulting services to NovoPsych users.

Feedback informed supervision

I hope you’ve found the above analysis of NovoPsych data helpful, or even inspiring. I can’t help but think the future for mental health interventions is not just evidence-based practice, but also practice-based evidence.

Take care,

Dr Ben Buchanan

Co-Founder and Director of NovoPsych.