valuation des coûts des services de soutien en santé mentale communautaire

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.

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Planning for multi-site ethics review

This article is a brief report that draws on the literature and interviews with CMHEI investigators to explore the challenges of obtaining research ethics board approval for multi-site studies. It goes on to suggest how the complexity of multi-site approval could be addressed in terms of study budget, staff time, and study timelines.

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The experience of developing a package of instruments to measure the critical characteristics of community support programs for people with a severe mental illness

A major challenge for program evaluators is to develop and use measures of program implementation that are both comprehensive and generalizable across programs. The goal is to understand how measures of program characteristics are related to outcomes and, ultimately, to improve program effectiveness. In this brief report, we describe our experience in developing a package of instruments to measure critical characteristics of community support programs for people with a severe mental illness.

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

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.

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Inside the black box: challenges in implementation evaluation of community mental health case management programs

Fidelity measurement is an evolving field in mental health case management program evaluation. This article presents an exploratory study in which two separate fidelity measures, the Dartmouth Assertive Community Treatment Scale (DACTS) and the Key Component Profiles (KCP), were used to assess structure and process elements of three mental health case management programs. The programs were studied because they all provided services to seriously mentally ill inner city populations and shared a common context for practice.

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

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.

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Creating inclusive workplaces: employing people with psychiatric disabilities in evaluation and research in community mental health

People with psychiatric disabilities face barriers to employment both in the larger community and within the mental health system itself. Strategies used to affirmatively employ people with psychiatric disabilities as research personnel in an evaluation of community mental health services are described in this article.

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A benefit for everyone: family-researcher collaboration in the mental health field

This article outlines the benefits of family member involvement at all stages of mental health research. As an integral aspect of a longitudinal study of family self-help/mutual aid organizations, family members participated as advisors, researchers, and knowledge translators. Their participation served to improve the research design, inform the research questions, enhance the quality of the data, and assist in knowledge translation.

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A comprehensive evaluation framework for mental health consumer/survivor organizations: values, conceptualization, design, and action

This article provides a framework for the evaluation of mental health consumer/survivor organizations that consists of four main components: (a) participatory processes, (b) conceptualization of the activities and outcomes at the individual and systems levels of these organizations, (c) the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods for examining activities and outcomes, and (d) dissemination and action.

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No matter how you land: challenges of a longitudinal multi-site evaluation

In an earlier article, we described the mindset and process for implementing and conducting a multi-site study. In this article, we take the perspective of the multi-site study's coordinating centre. Using the Community Mental Health Evaluation Initiative as a case study, we focus on four major aspects of the initiative — data collection and management, the evaluated programs, partnerships, and knowledge transfer.

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