How reliable are case formulations?: a systematic literature review

Flinn, Lucinda and Braham, Louise and das Nair, Roshan (2015) How reliable are case formulations?: a systematic literature review. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54 (3). pp. 266-290. ISSN 2044-8260

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Abstract

Objectives: This systematic literature review investigated the inter-rater and test–retest reliability of case formulations. We considered the reliability of case formulations across a range of theoretical modalities and the general quality of the primary research studies.

Methods: A systematic search of five electronic databases was conducted in addition to reference list trawling to find studies that assessed the reliability of case formulation. This yielded 18 studies for review. A methodological quality assessment tool was developed to assess the quality of studies, which informed interpretation of the findings.

Results: Results indicated inter-rater reliability mainly ranging from slight (.1–.4) to substantial (.81–1.0). Some studies highlighted that training and increased experience led to higher levels of agreement. In general, psychodynamic formulations appeared to generate somewhat increased levels of reliability than cognitive or behavioural formulations; however, these studies also included methods that may have served to inflate reliability, for example, pooling the scores of judges. Only one study investigated the test–retest reliability of case formulations yielding support for the stability of formulations over a 3-month period.

Conclusions: Reliability of case formulations is varied across a range of theoretical modalities, but can be improved; however, further research is required to strengthen our conclusions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Flinn, L., Braham, L. and das Nair, R. (2015), How reliable are case formulations? A systematic literature review. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54: 266–290, which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/bjc.12073. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: case formulation; case conceptualization; reliability
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Psychiatry
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12073
Depositing User: Dziunka, Patricia
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 08:59
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2016 23:05
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/34978

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