How to measure progress against common outcome measures for survivors

Each organisation or service will have a different set of activities and desired outcomes. Outcomes reported by organisations supporting adult survivors of childhood abuse include the following:


  • Feel more safe / secure / stable
  • Feel more capable / able to function / thrive at home or at work
  • Feel they have relationships / friends to rely on
  • Are able to be more involved in decisions
  • Are participating in art / exercise / learning
  • Are less exposed to harmful contexts / have more positive coping strategies
  • Have better mental and physical health

For organisations offering counselling and trauma treatment this may also include:

  • Reduced PTSD symptoms (eg hyperarousal. re-experience and avoidance symptoms).

Measuring positive change against mental health and wellbeing outcomes can be challenging to achieve. Many different aspects make up a person’s wellbeing and mental health and changes can be difficult to quantify reliably. Using validated quantitative scales (ie those which have been tried and tested in many contexts) provides confidence and reliability of measurement.

In addition, using quantitative, validated and consistent measures allows you to benchmark progress within your organisation and across similar organisations or activities.

Using a range of measurement tools will provide the richest information and insight. For example, qualitative and creative methods can be used to exemplify and provide detail and nuance to quantitative findings and to capture the vital learning that cannot be provided through more quantitative methods.

Further reading on how to introduce validated measures into your practice


Section 5A Introduction


Recommended validated measures for wellbeing