Fowler Technical Effectiveness Scale

Fowler Technical Effectiveness Scale

Fowler, D.E., McGee, R.K. (1973) Assessing the performance of telephone crisis workers: The development of a Technical Effectiveness Scale. In D. Lester & G.W. Brockopp (Eds.). Crisis Intervention and Counseling by Telephone. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 1973.


Question Criteria
1. Can the caller be immediately reconnected? In order to answer this question affirmative the call must contain enough information to enable the centre to call or contact the Centre or to immediately go to the caller.
2. Did the volunteer ask or obtain specific information regarding significant others? A specific question dealing with the possibility of roommates, parents, neighbours, friends or relatives must occur in order to answer this question “yes.” A general inquiry such as “Do you have someone to talk to?” will not qualify.
3. Were specific problems identified? A problem identified to which the centre can respond, even if it’s not the focal problem, will qualify for a “yes” answer
4. Did the volunteer communicate that s/he is willing to help? This question may be answered on the basis of both affect and/or content
5. Did the volunteer develop a structured plan of action or help the caller to develop one? A structured plan of action must lead to some action or event that will involve the caller in an observable behaviour
6. Did the caller agree to an action plan? A definite commitment must be obtained from the caller for this question to be answered “yes”
7. Was it determined whether or not this was a suicide call? Specific inquiry from the worker mentioning “suicide” or “kill self” or spontaneous statement from the caller may be scored.
8. a) Did the volunteer ask about a suicide plan? Or b) if the caller voluntarily disclosed the information did the volunteer inquire about further details Answer either a) or b) but not both
9. Was it determined if the caller has made prior suicide attempts? Specific inquiry must be made by the worker or a spontaneous statement if the caller may be scored.


Cite this article as: MacDonald, D.K., (2015), "Fowler Technical Effectiveness Scale," retrieved on August 25, 2019 from

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