Is CORE about to see a resurgence?

The therapy professions use many outcome measures to assess the efficacy of treatment, and over the last 10 years or so, one of the most popular systems for counsellors has been CORE. Paper versions of CORE questionnaires have always been freely available; however, electronic versions were available only to users of the CORE IMS (Information Management System).

This proved to be a real sticking point as talking therapies took off a decade ago. CORE-10 had originally been put forward as a mandated outcome measure across the NHS – with CORE-34 an optional extra – but negotiations around copyright failed to meet a consensus, and CORE measures were removed from the NHS dataset.

This was hugely disappointing for existing therapy services who had a long history with CORE, not least due to the wealth of CORE data they had collected which would no longer be available for ongoing comparative analysis.

There is much debate about the value and relevance of CORE for CBT-focussed services, but it was widely considered a tragedy that the significant investment by traditional counselling services in CORE data collection would essentially be written off.

As a system supplier to psychological therapy services, Mayden has to date been unable to include CORE measures in bacpac, meaning that our clients were not able to access the tools they wanted. Of course, this is never a good position to be in; as a company, Mayden prides itself on being responsive to customer needs.

Gradually, the therapy services which evolved into NHS commissioned teams left CORE behind, focussing instead on mandated IAPT measures such as PHQ9 and GAD7.

But from 1st January 2015, all that changed. CORE measures are now available freely under a Creative Commons License – which means that we at Mayden are now able to incorporate the full CORE measures into our software, and that our clients are free to adopt them again if they choose to do so.

The CORE System Trust should be congratulated on this move. It can’t have been an easy decision; the CORE measures have developed over a number of years and represent a significant investment in intellectual capital.

For our part, we are thrilled to be able to make CORE measures available to bacpac users on request and at no extra cost. The rest will be up to the therapist community…