Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network

Special Projects

AMHOCN has undertaken special projects on carer outcome mesaurement and the development of clinical prompts related to the NOCC measures.

The Living in the Community Questionnaire (LCQ)

The Training and Service Development component of the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN TSD) has been funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health to develop a consumer self report measure that focuses on aspects of social inclusion and recovery.

Following initial measure development, AMHOCN undertook a proof of concept trial and a field trial. The data gathered from those trials was analysed and incorporated into a final report on the development of the tool, which was recently considered by the Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee (MHISSC). AMHOCN is now undertaking some additional work that might support broader use of the tool in the sector e.g. describing how individuals, clinicians and services might use the information gathered by the LCQ. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Rosemary Dickson, AMHOCN Network Coordinator.

Carer Experiences of Care Project

Australia, like many other western countries, has increasingly recognised the need for carer involvement in the development and delivery of mental health services, and this had been reflected in changing mental healthcare policy. The Fourth National Mental Health Plan includes the development of consumer and carer experiences and perceptions of care as a priority quality improvement initiative. The National Mental Health Services Standards and Implementation guidelines reflect these statements and strongly support consumer and carer involvement in development, planning, delivery and evaluation of mental health services. Currently, however, there is no nationally consistent tool for measuring carer experiences of mental health service provision across Australia.

The Mental Health Information Strategy Standing SubCommittee (MHISSC) agreed that a carer experiences measure was a priority area for information development and AMHOCN was asked to support an initiative to progress this activity. A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was established and, in collaboration with the TAG, AMHOCN undertook an initial literature review to identify whether any suitable instruments currently existed. Following measure development work by the TAG, a draft carer experience questionnaire is currently being trialled in several services. The results of the trial will be available in the latter half of 2015.

For further information about the project, please do not hesitate to contact Rosemary Dickson, AMHOCN Network Coordinator or by ph: 02 9840 3833.

Community Managed Organisations Outcome Measures Project

AMHOCN collaborated with Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) on a project focussed on the use of outcome measures in mental health related community managed organisations (CMOs) across Australia.

We have now produced a guidebook for the mental health CMO sector that will describe issues to be considered in implementing outcome measurement in CMOs and potential measures that could be used. Download the guidebook Implementing Routine Outcome Measurement in Community Managed Organisations (PDF, 1.5mb).

This guidebook follows on from the initial project work which involved scoping the current use of measures in the sector and a literature review to identify potential measures with suitability for the sector. The results of that scoping work and literature review are also available in [missing asset] is now available for download (PDF, 3.3mb).

Should you require any information on this project, please do not hesitate to contact Rosemary Dickson, AMHOCN Network Coordinator. Information about the project can also be viewed on the CMHA website.


During 2006 – 2008, AMHOCN facilitated the National Mental Health Benchmarking Project and continue to facilitate benchmarking activities for Forensic Mental Health Services Benchmarking across Australia.

Clinical Prompts Project

During late 2007 – early 2008, AMHOCN undertook a project to establish the feasibility of linking clinical prompts to scores on the NOCC routine outcome measures; and the subsequent development of a library of clinical prompts to be potentially incorporated into the Web Decision Support Tool (wDST), or other information systems. Through a process of consultation with clinical reference groups, consumers and carers, eight sets of prompts linked to the NOCC measures in differing ways were developed, creating a matrix of prompts when combined. The primary focus of the prompts is to assist the supervision of junior mental health clinicians, but with recognition of a significant potential wider group of users including consumers and carers. Download the Clinical Prompts Final Report.

Carer Outcomes Measures Project

During late 2007 – early 2008, AMHOCN undertook a project which involved a scoping exercise, designed to explore the context within which carer outcome measurement might be introduced and to identify any candidate instruments. The project focused on carers of adults with mental illness (not children/adolescents or older persons). It examined instruments that consider carer burden, wellbeing and need – but did not focus on instruments that elicit carers’ perspectives of consumers’ symptomatology and level of functioning. An extensive literature review and a broad consultation process assisted in the identification of two instruments that might serve the purpose of routine carer outcome measurement with some modification. However, the introduction of an instrument to routinely measure outcomes for carers was seen as neither practical nor feasible at this time, and should only occur in the context of implementing a range of initiatives designed to improve carer outcomes. The carer-specific standard in the revised National Standards for Mental Health Services was highlighted as a context for these efforts. Download the project’s report: Carer outcome measurement in mental health services: Scoping the field (PDF, 620kb).