EBPI conducts research on topics to advance the use of evidence-based practice in public mental health settings. In FY17, EBPI focused research efforts on a collaboration with DBHR and the Washington State University Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) to examine the associations between client feedback and post-treatment outcomes. The research was conducted to inform EBPI’s pilot of agency-level performance measures for evidence-based reporting. EBPI also collaborated with the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR) to conduct an evaluation of a child to parent violence program (Step Up) as part of the scope of work to support evaluation of promising programs on the Washington State Inventory of Evidence, Research-based and Promising Programs. A summary of these activities is outlined below

Collaboration with DBHR and WSU to Conduct Research on Client Outcomes

Client feedback is a broad term that encompasses various types of client reporting on the quality of healthcare services. It is a common expectation of quality of care as indicated by its inclusion on one of the most widely used frameworks for quality healthcare measurement (Donabedian framework, ref). At the same time, research on the relationship between client feedback and health outcomes is mixed, with some studies showing a negative relationship between client satisfaction and improvement (ref). Apart from its potential or problematic value as a point of performance measurement, client engagement and feedback is also increasingly seen as clinical best practice.  The consumer based movement in mental health highlights this importance; consequently, collecting routine client feedback has its own value distinguishable from the potentially direct relationship with outcomes.

EBPI took steps to better understand this relationship in collaboration with DBHR and SESRC. The WSU center is subcontracted by DBHR to conduct annual client satisfaction surveys with random samples of youth and adult mental health Medicaid users in Washington State. The study is still in progress and results are expected to be reported by December 2017.

Collaboration with WSCCR to Conduct Research on a Child to Family Violence Intervention Program (Step Up)

Step Up is a 21 week, parent and youth group intervention for families for which a youth is being consistently violent (verbally or physically) in the home. The central therapeutic concept in the program is the abuse and respect wheels which reinforce a positive approach to conflict and resolution along with cognitive restructuring, problem-solving and motivational approaches. The overarching philosophy of the program is restorative in which the youth is encouraged to recognize the effects of their actions on others and repair harm. The program is appropriate for youth ages 14-17 and both male and female youth. Families from diverse backgrounds have participated in Step Up (African American, East African, Latino, Caucasian non-Latino, Native American, and Asian).

The evaluation is being conducted in collaboration with the Washington State Center for Court Research, the research arm of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The results will be shortly released.