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Practice Research Network

What is the purpose of the MFT-PRN?

The MFT-PRN has five main goals:

  • 1. Build collaborative relationships between therapists and researchers
  • 2. Discover the evolving contribution of therapists
  • 3. Provide instant information to therapists
  • 4. Build a diverse research database
  • 5. Improve client care

How much does the MFT-PRN cost?

It's FREE!

Where does the funding for this project come from?

Funding is provided through internal grants and endowments at Brigham Young University.

Who pays for the use of the surveys?

Most of the surveys are free to use. For the ones that are not free, BYU has covered the licensing fees.

If I want to implement the MFT-PRN at my clinic, what are the necessary steps?

Joining the MFT-PRN is simple. First, if clinics want to use their data in research projects, they are responsible for the management of that data, including ensuring that all necessary requirements are met for working with human subjects (IRB). Second, make sure that the clinic has an internet-enabled iPad or tablet (or a computer that clients can take assessments on). Then, the MFT-PRN data transfer agreement must be signed and emailed to We look forward to your collaboration!

How will using the MFT-PRN benefit my clients?

The main focus of the MFT-PRN is to improve client care. When clients take their assessments at intake, the therapist can receive instant graphical information on their clients' progress, thus allowing them to be more productive in session. Additionally, studies have shown that clients are likely to improve up to four times when their progress is monitored.

How long does it typically take for a client to fill out an assessment?

The assessments that are given every session take no more than 5 minutes. The length of the major assessments depends on which assessments each clinic chooses. Therefore, clinics have control on how long it takes.

Are the suggested core measures required? Can we choose our own?

The MFT-PRN has a demographics form and some short measures that are taken every session. There is a major assessment given at intake, sessions 4, 8, 12, 16, and then every multiple of 8 sessions after that. Clinics get to choose the measures for these assessment times. However, the core demographics and intersession measures are required.

What kinds of assessments does it include?

The MFT-PRN has over 40 assessments from which clinics can choose from. These assessments address many areas of concern including anxiety, marital satisfaction, parenting, attachment, finances, violence, and many more. Please click here to access a comprehensive list of all assessments.

Can I choose specific assessments for specific clients?

Not at the moment, but we are always wanting to improve our system. We are in the process of adding the capability for therapists to add specific assessments on a case-by-case basis.

Can I use the MFT-PRN for my own research?

Yes, all clinics own their own data and can do what they would like with it. All clinics are responsible for the management of their data, which includes ensuring that they have IRB approval to work with human subjects.

Where is the data stored? How is it accessed by each clinic?

Data are stored on a secure server at Brigham Young University. Through the MFT-PRN portal you can access your data anytime and download it for your use.

How do you de-identify the data?

The confidentiality of clients and therapists is extremely important to the MFT-PRN so we have worked to ensure that the MFT-PRN assessment portal is HIPAA compliant. For a practice research network to meet the needs of all of its members requires a balance between ease of use for clinicians, receptionists, and clinic administrators; and de-identified data for use by clinical researchers. To facilitate the clinical use of the MFT-PRN, client and therapist names are used throughout the assessment portal for each clinical site. Of course, client confidentiality is essential, so the MFT-PRN has been developed to be HIPAA compliant. This means, for instance, that only those who require access to a client's or therapist's information to perform their job-related duties can see that information. A clinician, for example, can pull up information about her/his clients but cannot see any information about the clients of other clinicians at the site. A supervisor would have access to all of the clients under his/her supervision and a clinic administrator would have access to all clients in the system. To facilitate use of MFT-PRN data by clinical researchers, data from across clinical sites are pooled together. While client and therapist names are used in the on-line portal, all HIPAA identifiers including names and date of birth are automatically removed in any dataset downloaded from the MFT-PRN site.

What is client feedback driven treatment and how do clients benefit from it?

Client feedback driven treatment is the systematic evaluation of treatment and client response over the course of therapy. Some of the benefits of implementing client feedback driven treatment include establishing appropriate and realistic treatment goals, encouraging adaptive therapy, improving the overall quality of services provided by clinicians, and helping clients and therapists identify therapeutic factors or critical items of concern to focus on. Research indicates that client feedback driven treatment increases effectiveness and results in significant gains in treatment outcomes (Hawkins et al., 2004; Harmon et al., 2007). Additionally, couples in therapy achieved 4 times the rate of clinically significant change, showed significantly greater improvement, and maintained significant advantages on measures at 6-month follow ups, and had lower rates of divorce and separation when their therapist utilized assessments during treatment (Anker, Duncan, Sparks, 2009).