CST blog

CORE updates, October 2020

Created 2.xi.20.

Wow, over six months since I last posted anything here. Trust me, since then I’ve done little but work, and much of that work, CORE related or just to support CORE. I guess CV-19 mitigation really hit home just after that and I came up here (see image above, which was pretty much the view above my monitor a few days ago, see “snow“). With CV-19 it worked out as sensible for me to stay here and pretty much just worked since then.

OK, quick post now as the site is about to go into lockdown, probably for a couple of weeks. It should emerge with markedly better support for languages other than English and structured to make it easy for me, and for others, for me to delegate subsites to be run by some of the brilliant people who work on CORE in languages other than English. I hope it will also have better membership and contact systems to stop spamming idiots wasting my time with their nonsense! OK, bullet points.

  • A huge amount of my time went into creating options that practitioners used to using CORE measures on paper with clients could use working online: start here for that and you can follow the downloads here: 11,871 total downloads to today (though many of those probably aren’t “real” use, however, for every download that was used, I guess many clients have used the forms by now. ResearchGate project log here.
  • I have been very slowly getting through the backlog of translation PDFs made up and, more rapidly, fixing overdue work on some of the translation related collaborations.
  • I have been on top of answering questions pretty promptly after a long period in which overload meant many didn’t get answered, or not fast.
  • My collaboration with Dr. Clara Paz of UDLA in Ecuador has been very active and after some tough experiences with some journals, our papers really are starting to emerge and all are either about CORE or related to it.
    • Evans, C., Sabucedo, P., & Paz, C. (2020). Supporting practice based evidence in the COVID-19 crisis: Three researcher-practitioners’ stories. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515070.2020.1779661
    • Paz, C., Mascialino, G., Proaño, K., & Evans, C. (2020). Psychological intervention change measurement in Latin America: Where from? Where to? Psychotherapy Research, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2020.1750728
    • Paz, C., Adana-Díaz, L., & Evans, C. (2020). Clients with different problems are different and questionnaires are not blood tests: A template analysis of psychiatric and psychotherapy clients’ experiences of the CORE‐OM. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 20(2), 274–283. https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12290
    • Paz, C., Mascialino, G., & Evans, C. (2020). Exploration of the psychometric properties of the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure in Ecuador. BMC Psychology, 8(1), 94–105. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-00443-z
    • Paz, C., Evans, C., Valdiviezo-Oña, J., & Osejo-Taco, G. (2020). Acceptability and Psychometric Properties of the Spanish Translation of the Schwartz Outcome Scale-10 (SOS-10-E) Outside the United States: A Replication and Extension in a Latin American Context. Journal of Personality Assessment, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2020.1825963
    • [10.x.20] Oops, forgot Paz, C., & Evans, C. (2019). The Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure: A useful option for routine outcome monitoring in Latin America. Revista Brasileira de Psicodrama, 27(2), 226–230. https://doi.org/10.15329/2318-0498.20190024
  • I think all but the first of those are open access (and it was open for a while). If you can’t get any of them, contact me and I’ll send you a copy. Hm, that does look OK output for six months with my head down most of the time!
  • The last bit of excellent news is that there is at last a free option that avoids the confidentiality and usability issues with the fillable PDFs by using an online questionbot. Answers are given back to the user (well, to any Email address the user chooses to give).
    The CORE-OM is accessible at:
    and the CORE-10 at:

    Quick declaration: I have helped Barry and Giles with the design of their system but it’s theirs although the CORE-OM and CORE-10 content is of course copyright to CORE System Trust as usual, and isbeing used in line with our Creative Commons licence. Neither I nor they get any remuneration from use of the forms. If you have questions about the forms, do contact them, not me! I’m sure they’ll keep me updated about major developments.
  • That’s it for now. Feedback via the contact form as ever. Best wishes to all for maximum resilience in these horrible times. Chris

What to put where: FAQs versus background and discussion documents

Created 4/3/20.

This is another very short blog post but it does seem to follow on a bit from my last one about what to blog on which of my sites as this is another issue about what belongs where.

I had an Email enquiry the morning about the age ranges for different CORE measures and that was the latest in a small run of enquiries essentially on the same topic so I thought I’d better check up with some of the first papers about the measures and try to make sure I had a sensible answer that was congruent with those papers but also open for developments. That grew into a short document that was way too long for an FAQ as to colleagues confirmed when I checked with them (thanks JC & CP!) I now have a sensibly short FAQ on the topic but that begs some questions that will only apply for some people but may be behind the question from some people … so I have created a “Background and discussion documents” section on the site for short documents that are too large to be FAQ answers but are less discursive and personal than blog posts and aren’t proper papers (though I suspect that as time goes by, some may generate proper papers submitted to journals.

So welcome to the new section and the new FAQ and keep the questions and suggestions coming … but do remember I’m on this part time and unpaid and really appreciate it when people give me a bit of background to their requests.

Oh, and in that spirit of not letting things get too impersonal here: that image? Graffito in Toulouse where I am at the moment. Skip across to my personal blog for 29/2/20 to find out more but beware, that’s a very long blog post there.

What to blog where? … and the GP-CORE

Created 10.xii.19

I’ve just finished a blog post in my non-CORE-work site:
Ethics committees and the fear of questionnaires about distress.

It arose from an Email question that came to me here and it’s origins are in the GP-CORE, but in the end I decided the main content was personal and not CORE, but that it probably did have a right to a link from here, if only to signal how I’m trying to handle what belongs where.

GPDR compliance and general update on CORE/CST work

I sent out an Email today to the 102 people signed up to the CST/CORE Email update list.  This particular Email was triggered by the GDPR legislation and confirmed that I am 100% confident that everyone on the list gave their information to get on the list voluntarily so I/we (i.e. CST) have consent for us to hold this.  That means that the only other thing we needed to do to be fully GDPR compliant was to make available the details about our data processing and privacy policy.  For the lists that data is actually stored by mailchimp and their privacy policy and details of their data handling are at https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy/.  For any other personal data I/we hold for CST it is handled in line with our policy now up at https://www.coresystemtrust.org.uk/privacy-policy/.

OK. That’s all the legalistic stuff (and I, and we, do take data protection very seriously even though it ends up reading as very dull stuff), what about CORE?  Well, CORE is thriving really though you wouldn’t know it from that Email list as that was the first time I’d actually sent a message there.  Partly that’s because CORE is now keeping me busy 4-7 days a week with things that always seem to be more important than sending out an update. 

The web site has been a problem as the man who owned the plugin we were using to serve up downloads seems to have disappeared and his plugin is broken.  I have replaced the plugin and now have to rewrite every single one of the 93 download links which is very frustrating and only going slowly. 

Various CORE measures, and all or part of the CORE-A, are still very widely used in the UK despite not being forced on services by the NHS: that has left us true to our philosophy that good routine change measurement is “bottom up”: driven by practitioners rather than “top down” driven managerially or politically.  In other countries, particularly Italy and Spain, it’s also increasingly used within a number of “bottom up” developments that are very exciting and papers and reports that have used instruments and measures continue to emerge far faster than we can keep track of them.  Most of my research time is taken up, as it has been for most of the last decade at least, with translations and psychometric explorations.

Now I really must get into a monthly rhythm of updates on the list and blog posts: there’s a positive spin off from making sure we’re GDPR compliant! If you’ve been caught up as a researcher in GDPR anxieties, I recommend Emily Blackshaw’s blog post: GDPR-related anxiety disorder (academic-type).  She and I have had fun making ourselves 100% sure our YP-CORE work is fully GDPR compliant but it is!

Update on CST work by me (Chris Evans)

Of the three of us, I’m responsible for the web site, most Email that come via the site, and all the translation work. Since our post on 7/7/16 I was very caught up in finishing my clinical post (permanently) at the end of July and then setting off on a trip of a lifetime: trying to cycle from London to Stantiago de Compostela in Spain.  I had to sort out some nasty problems with the web site (WordPress is mostly great but some plugins we have had to use really aren’t) and do a number of pressing bits of translation related work.  On my trip, having time, energy (it’s hard work cycling in the heat for all it’s a wonderful privilege!) and, above all, working IT/wifi/internet has been a nightmare and I have given first priority with that time to the pilgrimage site (www.psyctc.org/pelerinage2016/)  

I am very sorry, but I am simply not going to be able to handle more than tiny CORE related things until my trip is over and I’m back at work: the first week of October. However, one reason for finally stopping clinical work was to make more time for CORE so I hope I will be able to make real inroads into the backlog when I do return.  Apologies for now … but do have a look at the pilgrimage web site as it may amuse you and I do touch on important CORE and healthcare issues. I always hoped to have time to think about them properly like this.  

CST, CORE and the UK “Brexit” vote

All three of us as CST trustees are deeply disappointed in the outcome of the referendum.  As a part of a collective recovery from the vote, it seems important to make a statement about our position.  CORE is tiny in terms of the impacts of “Brexit” on the UK and the EU, and the horrible and uncertain impacts for so many EU nationals currently in the UK and the students here or about to come here.  However, we believe it may help if many tiny things come together to underline that the vote was marginal, that many who voted to leave are regretting it, and that it was NOT just a vote of separatism and petty nationalism but also a vote of dissatisfaction with current political power structures (in the UK and in the EU).

Little and big things are needed to try to minimise the negative impacts of “Brexit” so we wanted to put the following points on record.

  • CORE’s origins are in the UK and UK English versions of the instruments were the prototypes.  However, the CORE project was always inclusive and we always sought to achieve first rate translations provided that translations were culturally appropriate.
  • Full European availability of the CORE instruments was always a CORE aspiration and we are near to having good translations into all official EU languages.
  • Our copyleft strategy and commitment to translations has always been part of that inclusive and internationalist stance.
  • Despite the narrow, divisive and painful “Brexit” vote CST will remain committed to usage and availability within the whole of Europe and more widely.
  • We cannot now lead bids for EU funding but we will continue to support anyone wishing to make such bids and will continue to build links with all EU countries.

Chris Evans (on behalf of CST)