CORE 34 well-being measure

Therapy Everyday

As I mentioned in the previous blog, I have completed my CORE 34 today in order to set a baseline. The CORE measuring tool is a pretty universal method of gauging well-being or risk, certainly in the field of cognitive behaviour therapy. There are 34 questions in covering four aspects of a person’s experience (see table from the CORE Systems User’s Manual).

CORE 34 table 1

The CORE measure is used at the beginning of therapy, and then intermittently throughout. Initially it is extremely useful to measure risk in a client, to ensure there are no pressing acute reasons for delaying therapy and recommending medical help, or to ensure that priority is given to ensure the clients safety. As the therapeutic journey begins, the CORE measure can be used to track change. If a client has inherent biases which mean they score things in a certain way, these biases might continue throughout, so it isn’t really important that every client answers completely honestly, of course, the other side of this is to note that if a client doesn’t answer all the questions honestly initially and then changes how they answer the questions, this change will be apparent. Either way, no matter how the answers are provided, this can be a useful therapeutic tool.

The CORE measures have normative data for people presenting without any obvious mental health issues, and those who have entered into treatment. The methodology behind this is explained within the CORE Systems user’s manual which anyone can download for free from the following address: , I have included a short explanation from the manual:

core 34 table 2


core 34 table 4


What does all this mean? Well, basically in order to work out scores that the systems designers believe represent ‘normal’ people they asked a load of clinicians and students who stated they weren’t affected by any mental health issues to complete the CORE 34, and then they did the same thing with a whole bunch of people who had received treatment for mental health issues. From these two data samples they took averages of score and hey presto, we have scores which we can use to compare ourselves and our clients to. * I would note the obvious flaw in this is the scores provided by the people studying or practicing in the field as according to my mother in law, who was a nurse for decades so she claims to be an expert on this, “everyone who works in mental health is completely bonkers”.

I completed the CORE measurement and the results are below:

Core 34 220716 page 1Core 34 220716 page 2

As you can see from the scores, my mean is 0.94 for all items. The score for non-clinical is stated as 0.76, meaning I am a bit above average for people who are not in treatment. The clinical score is 1.86, I am way below that but as I described in my previous post I am feeling more anxious due to a number of factors which I will explore in future posts, there for a score which is above the average for those who are not in treatment or affected by any current mental health issues is probably about right as it reflects my slightly increased anxiety.


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