What You Need

Use of the PRN is free! Clinics will need to do the following to be eligible to use the PRN:

  • Have an internet-enabled iPad or tablet (or a computer that clients can take assessments on)
  • Understand that data are stored on a secure server and will be used by clinical researchers participating in the PRN
  • Sign the PRN data transfer agreement

The site retains ownership of their data and grants the PRN investigators rights to use the data for research purposes.

How to Use the PRN

When a client comes in for their first appointment, they will complete the base demographics assessment. They will also complete your selected assessments at intake (session 1), before the 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th sessions, and every 8th session thereafter. Each site has the opportunity to choose which assessments they will implement.

Clients will also take the "Intersession Assessment" during intake. This indicates the presenting problem progress and therapeutic alliance. Clients are identified by their initials and the name of their therapist.

At check-in, the receptionist or therapist can scan a QR code that will direct the client to the correct assessments. They can then complete on these on the iPad/tablet or computer. The PRN tracks which session clients are on and automatically pulls up their assessments.

Additionally, the PRN can be used to schedule therapy rooms, gather therapist reports of sessions, complete case notes, and complete treatment plans and termination summaries. For more information, see the handbook.

Why Use the PRN

One of the main challenges for therapists is discerning client change. Research indicates that clients improve twice as much when therapists receive systematic feedback. The PRN provides a user-friendly way to monitor client progress. Some of the primary benefits of using the PRN include the following:

The field of Marriage and Family Therapy can be very independent. Many therapists do not know what techniques their colleagues may be employing to increase client well-being. The PRN will increase understanding and shed light on what clinicians are currently doing in their sessions which lead to client improvement! These techniques can then be implemented into research or potentially used to improve MFT curriculum. As therapists adapt and change over time, they acquire new skills that can be extremely beneficial to others who can learn from their techniques.

One of the most incredible things about the PRN is that it provides instant graphical information on client progress. When clients come to check in, they take the selected PRN assessments and the therapist is able to review the results before the beginning of the session. This allows the therapist to compare their clients to the clinical cutoffs and population norms. Understanding a client's progress throughout the course of therapy will allow the therapist to improve their treatment planning and course correct their treatment if necessary.

The PRN allows data to be pooled from around the world. PRN is now operating in various parts of the United States and data will soon be collected internationally. This collaborative research network will greatly increase research diversity. The PRN will help researchers and clinicians to understand how treatment works in different cultures and learn therapeutic processes used by "top" therapists and clinics. Assessments are now available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Turkish.

One of the challenges in therapy is understanding if the treatment being used is effective for a specific client. This is where monitoring client progress becomes essential. Monitoring client progress makes clients four times more likely to improve during therapy. This is the primary goal of the PRN.

In the field of Marriage and Family Therapy, there is often a bridge that divides the work of practitioners and researchers. Some cutting-edge research never makes it into the sessions and often the brilliant work of clinicians never makes it into a "tier one" journal. However, the PRN brings these two disciplines together in a cohesive way. Through the PRN, researchers and clinicians are able to come together and have shared ownership of the data. Additionally, clinics own their own data and can use it in research however they choose.