Volume 27, Issue 3 p. 238-245
Original Article

Measuring goal progress using the goal-based outcome measure in Jigsaw – A primary care youth mental health service

Aileen O'Reilly

Corresponding Author

Aileen O'Reilly

Jigsaw – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health, Dublin 2, Ireland

School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland

Correspondence

Aileen O'Reilly, Jigsaw – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health, 16 Westland Square, Dublin 2, Ireland; Email: [email protected]

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Niamh McKenna

Niamh McKenna

School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland

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Amanda Fitzgerald

Amanda Fitzgerald

School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland

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First published: 27 June 2021
Citations: 2

Abstract

Background

Jigsaw is a primary care youth mental health service designed to increase access to and utilisation of mental health supports for 12- to 25-year-olds. Effectiveness in community youth mental health services is typically assessed using standardised instruments. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of Jigsaw’s brief intervention model of support using an idiographic tool, the goal-based outcome (GBO) measure. The study also aimed to explore the type of goals set by young people engaging with this service.

Method

The study sample consisted of a secondary dataset of 4839 young people aged 12–25 years (63.5% female, 36.5% male) who engaged with one of Jigsaw’s 13 brief intervention services. Overall, 7366 goals set using the GBO were examined. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted to examine the type of goals set by young people, and inferential analyses were used to examine statistical and reliable changes in goal progress.

Results

The goals young people set focused on developing coping mechanisms and personal growth and managing interpersonal difficulties. Mean scores for progress towards goals improved significantly from pre- to postintervention. The reliable change index (RCI) indicated that change greater than 2.82 points represents reliable change on the GBO, with 78.6% of young people showing reliable improvement. Demographic characteristics did not impact goal progress.

Conclusion

These findings suggest Jigsaw’s brief intervention model of support is effective in assisting young people reach their goals and that the GBO is a suitable measure for young people attending a community-based youth mental health service.