Diagnostic Agreement Predicts Treatment Process and Outcomes in Youth Mental Health Clinics

Amanda Jensen-Doss, John R. Weisz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Several studies have documented low rates of agreement between clinician- and researcher-generated diagnoses. However, little is known about whether this lack of agreement has implications for the processes and outcomes of subsequent treatment. To study this possibility, the authors used diagnostic agreement to predict therapy engagement and outcomes for 197 youths treated in 5 community mental health clinics. Diagnostic agreement predicted better therapy engagement, with the agree group having fewer therapy no-shows and cancellations and a decreased likelihood of therapy dropout. Additionally, support for a link between agreement and treatment outcomes was found, as the agree group obtained larger reductions in parent-reported internalizing problems during treatment. These findings suggest that diagnostic accuracy may be an important precursor to successful treatment and highlight the importance of future research to find ways to incorporate standardized diagnostic procedures into clinical care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-722
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • diagnostic agreement
  • therapy engagement
  • treatment outcomes
  • youth mental health services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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