Retrospective Stars

What are retrospective Stars?

In the context of the Outcomes Star, ‘retrospective’ is one alternative way to capture a Star reading with a service user.

The standard approach to completing a Star is to reflect on and complete the readings about the present time – the point in time at which the Star is being completed. 

A retrospective Star is completed about a period of time prior to the present moment – when you are looking back to how a client was at an earlier moment in time.

Detailed guidance on these options can be downloaded here. The key points are summarised below.

When to use retrospective Stars

It can be useful to look back with a service user to where they were at a previous point in time.  This may be useful to do when an initial Star was not completed with a service user, perhaps because at that point the supportive relationship was not established and so a service user did not engage with the Star. 

This can help capture a baseline reading for Star data analysis (see below) and/or be a positive and motivating reflective experience for service users and practitioners.

Triangle recommend that all services create their own guidance about if and when practitioners should use retrospective readings, to ensure consistent use across a service.

Using Star data from retrospective Stars

Care needs to be taken when using retrospective readings in Star data analysis. This is because a retrospective reading may not be as accurate a reflection of where a service user was at that point in time in comparison to a collaborative reading completed at that time. This may be particularly true if the reading was completed to help motivate the service user to see how far they have come. In this case the retrospective reading may have been exaggerated to the lower end of the Journey of Change to emphasise the journey that they have been on. The accuracy of a retrospective reading may also be compromised if when completing the retrospective Star reading the worker was not aware of important information for the service user at that time which would influence the reading.

An organisation may need to consider what their guidelines for completing retrospective readings are, how accurate they think they are and whether they want them to be included in Star data analysis.

Recording retrospective Stars on the Star Online system

On the Star Online, you cannot complete a retrospective Star using the live completion option.

Instead, complete the Star Chart on paper and use the Quick data option to record the data on the Star Online system, and select the "retrospective" option from the "Is this a standard or a "retrospective" Star?" panel.

Quick Star retrospective option

After choosing the retrospective option you will be prompted to enter the retrospective date i.e. the date the Star chart refers back to, rather than the date it was completed on.

Differences between retrospective and standard Stars on the Star Online

Retrospective Stars can be identified when entering Stars on the Star Online using the quick Star feature. They’re not included on default standard reports from the Star Online but they can easily be included by choosing ‘Include Retrospective Stars’ in the report filters.  They’re also excluded from lists by default and the “last Star” column on the Clients list doesn’t take them into account. So it’s good to be sure you understand what the “retrospective” option is for and only use this option when it’s necessary.