PCOMS Measures Now Available in Japanese and Vietnamese
The Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) represents a departure from expert-driven formulations that attempt to classify client distress and problems of living from a theoretical or symptom vantage point, the main culprits of ethnocentric and cultural biases. Instead, clients are empowered to highlight their views of distress/well-being, refocusing therapy toward individualized problem construction and solution building and away from options based on diagnosis, symptomology, or normative functioning.
Unlike other validated outcome measures, the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) - one of the key measures in the PCOMS family - is not a list of symptoms or problems checked by clients on a Likert scale; it is not forced choice or symptom oriented. Rather, it is an instrument that is individualized with each client to represent his or her idiosyncratic experience and reasons for service.
The major domains of life depicted on the ORS offer only a framework of life, a skeleton of human experience to which clients add the flesh and blood of their lived experience via the therapeutic conversation.
The content-free dimensions of the PCOMS family of measures allow clients to describe the meaning of their scores without preconceived theoretical or symptom-based constraints. Thus, client accounts retain the richness of real life, including the unique back-stories that contextualize their dilemmas. In relating their stories, clients color in the even more specific details of their unique life situations.
Cultural Competence: Respecting Client's Language
There are many ways to demonstrate cultural competence in the provision of services and honoring client’s native tongue represents a good start.
Thanks to the translation efforts of Takashi Mitamura, the PCOMS family of measures is now available in Japanese, and thanks to Nguyễn Thị Gia Hoàng, Phan Tường Yên, and Chung Ngọc Thiên Thanh, the measures are available in Vietnamese.
PCOMS seeks to level the psychotherapy process by inviting collaborative decision making, honoring client diversity with multiple language availability, and valuing local cultural knowledge; PCOMS provides a mechanism for routine attention to multiculturalism and client involvement.