Routine Outcome Monitoring in Psychotherapy Treatment Using Sentiment-Topic Modelling Approach

Noor Fazilla Abd Yusof, Chenghua Lin


Despite the importance of emphasizing the right psychotherapy treatment for an individual patient, assessing the outcome of the therapy session is equally crucial. Evidence showed that continuous monitoring of patient's progress could significantly improve the therapy outcomes to an expected change. The patient's progress can be tracked closely to help clinicians identify not progressing in the treatment by monitoring the outcome. This monitoring can help the clinician consider any necessary actions for the patient's treatment as early as possible, e.g., recommend different types of treatment or adjust the style of approach.  Currently, the evaluation system is based on the clinical-rated and self-report questionnaires that measure patients' progress pre-and post-treatment. While outcome monitoring tends to improve therapy outcomes, there are many challenges in the current method, e.g., time and financial burden for administering questionnaires, scoring, and analyzing the results. Therefore, a computational method for measuring and monitoring patient progress throughout treatment is needed to enhance the likelihood of positive treatment outcomes. This paper focuses on developing a computational method using a Dynamic Joint-Sentiment-Topic model (dJST) to measure and monitor the patient treatment outcome by tracking patient’s current and recurrent views of topic and sentiment. We identified the sentiment and topic trend evolved throughout treatments for each therapy session on the author's level. Our results show that this computational method could potentially lead to an inexpensive clinical monitoring tool to evaluate patients' progress during psychotherapy.


Psychotherapy treatment; sentiment-topic model; progress monitoring outcome; depression.

Full Text:



S. L. James et al., “Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 Diseases and Injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017,” Lancet, vol. 392, no. 10159, pp. 1789–1858, 2018.

R. M. Kok and C. F. Reynolds, “Management of depression in older adults: A review,” JAMA - J. Am. Med. Assoc., vol. 317, no. 20, pp. 2114–2122, 2017.

H. A. Swartz et al., “Psychotherapy alone and combined with medication as treatments for bipolar II depression: A randomized controlled trial,” J. Clin. Psychiatry, vol. 79, no. 2, pp. 7–15, 2018.

D. Beirão, H. Monte, M. Amaral, A. Longras, C. Matos, and F. Villas-Boas, “Depression in adolescence: a review,” Middle East Curr. Psychiatry, vol. 27, no. 1, 2020.

B. B. Sizoo and E. Kuiper, “Cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness based stress reduction may be equally effective in reducing anxiety and depression in adults with autism spectrum disorders,” Res. Dev. Disabil., vol. 64, pp. 47–55, 2017.

F. Cosci, J. Guidi, G. Mansueto, and G. A. Fava, “Psychotherapy in recurrent depression: efficacy, pitfalls, and recommendations,” Expert Rev. Neurother., vol. 20, no. 11, pp. 1169–1175, 2020.

N. Jain, “Group Psychotherapy for Late-Life Depression,” Curr. Treat. Options Psychiatry, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 452–460, 2019.

K. S. Bright et al., “Interpersonal psychotherapy to reduce psychological distress in perinatal women: A systematic review,” Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, vol. 17, no. 22, pp. 1–48, 2020.

M. J. Lambert, J. L. Whipple, and M. Kleinstäuber, “Collecting and Delivering Progress Feedback: A Meta-Analysis of Routine Outcome Monitoring,” Psychotherapy, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 520–537, 2018.

M. J. Lambert and K. L. Harmon, “The merits of implementing routine outcome monitoring in clinical practice,” Clin. Psychol. Sci. Pract., vol. 25, no. 4, p. 2020, 2018.

A. Gimeno-Peón, A. Barrio-Nespereira, and J. Prado-Abril, “Routine Outcome Monitoring and Feedback in Psychotherapy,” Papeles del Psicólogo [Psychologist Pap., vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 69–83, 2018.

M. van Sonsbeek, “Effective components of feedback from Routine Outcome Monitoring (ROM) in youth mental health care: study protocol of a three-arm parallel-group,” BMC Psychiatry, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 3, 2014.

M. J. Lambert, “Outcome in psychotherapy: The past and important advances,” Psychotherapy, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 42–51, 2013.

V. Lorentzen, B. H. Handegård, C. M. Moen, K. Solem, K. Lillevoll, and I. Skre, “CORE-OM as a routine outcome measure for adolescents with emotional disorders : factor structure and psychometric properties,” pp. 1–14, 2020.

G. Ionita, G. Ciquier, and M. Fitzpatrick, “Barriers and facilitators to the use of progress-monitoring measures in psychotherapy,” Can. Psychol. Can., p. 2020, 2020.

T. Haider, D. Dunstan, and N. Bhullar, “Improving psychologists ’ adherence to evidence-based practice guidelines for treating musculoskeletal injuries : A feasibility study,” Aust. Psychol., p. 2020, 2020.

Y. He, C. Lin, W. Gao, and K.-F. Wong, “Tracking sentiment and topic dynamics from social media (2017),” Soc. Media Content Anal., vol. 5, pp. 457--465, 2017.

A. E. Khedr, N. Yaseen, and S. S. E, “Predicting Stock Market Behavior using Data Mining Technique and News Sentiment Analysis,” Int. J. Intell. Syst. Appl., vol. 9, no. July, pp. 22–30, 2017.

S. Xiong, K. Wang, D. Ji, and B. Wang, “A short text sentiment-topic model for product reviews,” Neurocomputing, vol. 297, pp. 94–102, 2018.

O. S{’a}nchez and G. Sierra, “Joint sentiment topic model for objective text clustering,” J. Intell. & Fuzzy Syst., vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 3119--3128, 2019.

G. Lietaer and B. T. Brodley, “Carl Rogers in the Therapy Room: A listing of session transcripts and a survey of publications referring to Rogers’ sessions.,” Pers. & Exp. Psychother., vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 274–291, 2003.

K. Moon, “A client-centered commentary on Lietaer and Gundrum ’ s verbal response modes,” Pers. & Exp. Psychother., vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 334--341, 2018.

P. A. E. Velasquez and C. J. Montiel, “Reapproaching Rogers : a discursive examination of client-centered therapy,” Pers. & Exp. Psychother., vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 253--269, 2018.

C. R. Rogers, “The case of Herbert Bryan,” in Counselling and psychotherapy, Houghton Mifflin Boston, 1942.

A. E. Hoffman, “A study of reported behavior changes in counseling,” J. Consult. Psychol., vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 190–195, 1949.

B. A. E. Farber, D. C. Brink, and P. M. Raskin, The psychotherapy of Carl Rogers: Cases and commentary. Guilford Press, 1996.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development