Tim Aubry

Spring

Perceptions of the Use of an Outcome Monitoring Tool in a Clinical Psychology Training Centre: Lessons Learned for Performance Measurement

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The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ) following its implementation in a university-based psychological services training centre. Participants were doctoral-level student clinicians (n = 49), clinical supervisors (n = 17), and clients (n = 24). Data was collected through surveys, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups. Findings indicated that the majority of clinicians used the OQ to monitor outcomes and the majority of stakeholders perceived it as useful. However, the extent to which the information provided by the OQ was being used was variable. Lessons learned for implementation of performance measurement systems within mental health services are discussed.

Special Issue

Guest Editors' Remarks/Un mot des rédacteurs invités

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Pages:
v-xii

Conducting evaluation research with hard-to-follow populations: adopting a participant-centred approach to maximize participant retention

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Pages:
89-108

Longitudinal designs are effective for the evaluation of innovative social programs, but attrition can be a significant problem, particularly with hard-to-follow populations such as persons who are homeless. Tracking strategies for locating participants are essential, but retaining participants requires anticipating and addressing participants' needs at every stage of the research. A strategy that emphasizes appropriate interviewer characteristics, the relationship between interviewer and participant, and participants' "investment" in the research is critical. In other words, evaluation researchers can improve the retention of even hard-to-follow study participants by adapting research design and procedures to be "participant-centred." An example is given of a program evaluation in Ottawa, Ontario, that implemented strategies to adapt to the needs of persons with severe mental illness and a history of homelessness.

The use of the Mulh Community Ability Scale as a program evaluation tool

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Pages:
135-157

The Mulh Community Ability Scale (MCAS) is a standardized measure of functioning of people with mental illness living in the community. This study assessed feasibility and utility of the MCAS for routine outcome monitoring of clients enrolled in intensive community support programs. Burden related to training and administration was assessed and scale properties were evaluated, using data collected from a multisite community mental health evaluation initiative. Minimum effort was required to achieve good inter-rater reliability and administer the measure. The validity of the MCAS for measuring change in community functioning in new program clients was supported. However, MCAS ratings for ongoing clients were stable. Future studies can assess the relevance of the MCAS for measuring improvement in this client group.

valuation des coûts des services de soutien en santé mentale communautaire

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Pages:
175-184

Despite the high level of expressed interest in assessing costs of health and social services in program evaluation, the application of methodologies to estimate costs still remains relatively rare. The research note describes the application of a methodology developed in England to comprehensively cost health and social services. Using an assessment of services and supports consumed by 90 clients of a community mental health agency in Ottawa, Ontario, the different stages of the methodology are described. Results show the average annual total costs of services and supports used by the clients to be $24,878 per year ($68 per day), with a wide range variability associated with total costs of services for the different clients. The challenges of using this costing methodology in program evaluation are discussed.