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How reliable are case formulations?: a systematic literature review

Flinn, Lucinda; Braham, Louise; das Nair, Roshan

Authors

Lucinda Flinn

Louise Braham

ROSHAN NAIR Roshan.dasnair@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology



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.

Citation

Flinn, L., Braham, L., & das Nair, R. (2015). How reliable are case formulations?: a systematic literature review. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54(3), https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12073

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2014
Publication Date Jul 24, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 15, 2016
Journal British Journal of Clinical Psychology
Print ISSN 0144-6657
Electronic ISSN 2044-8260
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 54
Issue 3
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12073
Keywords case formulation; case conceptualization; reliability
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/34978
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjc.12073/abstract
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf
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.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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