Clinically signficant change to establish benchmarks in residential drug and alcohol treatment services
There is increasing emphasis on the use routine outcome assessment measures to inform quality assurance initiatives. The calculation of reliable and clinically significant change indices is one strategy that organizations could use to develop both internal and externally focused benchmarking processes. The current study aimed to develop reliable and clinically significant change indices for a range of commonly used outcome measures in the substance abuse field. Participants were attending Kedesh Rehabilitation Services, an Australian residential substance abuse service that also accepts people with co-occurring mental health problems (n0595). A range of mental health and substance use measures were administered to participants at intake to the service, and just prior to discharge at 7-weeks. Participants demonstrated statistically significant improvement across each of the measures. Rates of clinically significant improvement varied from 44 % to 85 % dependent on the criteria and outcome measure used. The calculation of clinically significant change provides a low cost, and relatively straightforward approach to evaluating and benchmarking program activities. It is likely that the results from the current study will be beneficial for other residential substance abuse services looking to benchmark their own program activities
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