Measuring Healing Effect in Residential Treatment
Nevin G. Alderman, MA, CMHC – Executive Clinical Director, New Haven RTC
Collecting outcomes is a best-practice for any treatment program or institution. Measuring treatment outcomes is vital in determining the level of effectiveness, and improving quality of care. At New Haven, practice-based research is a top priority. We have been collecting and analyzing data on our outcomes for more than 10 years as a part of our continuous quality improvement program.
Every family that participates in treatment at New Haven is assessed throughout treatment to ensure that certain benchmarks are being met. For example, a student rates her relationship with her therapist and the effectiveness of her sessions on a weekly basis using an evidence-based tracking tool. Trending of these scores is analyzed to ensure that the best therapeutic fit is being achieved for every student to support lasting healing.
Another measure that we rely on at New Haven is the Youth Outcome Questionnaire (YOQ). The YOQ is a reliable and valid assessment measure yielding statistically significant differences between Clinical and
Normative samples in critical areas to our students and their families, such as Intrapersonal Distress, Interpersonal Distress, Social Problems, etc. Higher scores on the YOQ represent greater levels of distress/dysfunction. Lower scores on the YOQ indicate healthier functioning. In analyzing the 2012-2013 Annual Outcomes Studies that involved an overwhelming majority of our client families; New Haven was successful in significantly reducing the severity of scores during treatment, producing an average discharge score well below the clinical cut-off for the measure.
A majority of our client families experience significant Family-Relational conflicts and struggles. Family-focused interventions are utilized throughout treatment at New Haven, aimed at repairing and healing dysfunction in the family. As with all other areas of treatment, we are very invested in quantitatively measuring the healing effect we have on families throughout treatment. One
measure that we rely upon for this feedback is the Family Interaction and Communication Scale (FICS). The FICS assesses the perspective of both the Parent and the Adolescent in measuring problematic Family Relational Dynamics. Higher scores on the FICS indicate greater levels of Familial discord and dysfunction. Lower scores indicate familial harmony. In reviewing the 2012-2013 Annual Outcomes Studies conducted at New Haven, a majority of families experienced significant healing in their family relationships.
We are very honored at the opportunities we have to assist families in healing. We are humbled by this blessing, and are committed to constantly improve our quality of care. For more information on our current outcomes, please visit us at: www.NewHavenRTC.com/outcome-data/