We at Skills System believe that commitments to treatment fidelity and conducting research create positive transactions for with-in agencies. On one side of the equation, evaluating treatment/program outcomes is an essential aspect of engaging in best practices – this likely helps the clients. Similarly, comprehensive implementations create environments that are conducive to rigorous empirical investigation. High commitment teams are in the best position to provide comprehensive treatment interventions to fidelity, and likely produce the strongest outcomes/data. It is a large investment of time, energy, and resources AND the outcomes for both the individuals being served and the agency are likely positive.
“Likely” is not good enough for us at Skills System. Pilot data and anecdotal successes are inadequate. We are making strides, but we are clearly not there. The goal is to break down silo-ed treatment provision and equip every mental health clinician/agency with feasible and empirically-validated tools to address the complex clinical needs of individuals with dual-diagnosis.
The Road Ahead: Optimally, future studies need to be controlled. For example, collecting pre-post data using strong with-in group designs or using a control group for between-group research are preferred. Studies that implement randomization are strongest. Realistically, doing research within our service environments with vulnerable individuals creates challenges to the research process, but these road-blocks are often surmountable. Smaller, un-funded research projects can be published (making a contribution to the literature) and add to the reputation of an agency within their service-provision network. Larger, grant-funded projects have the added benefits of increasing access to services for more consumers and reimbursing agencies for the investments of time/energy that research projects involve.
We can help: The Skills System strive to partner with agencies/practitioners on research projects. Dr. Brown is interested in collaborations, functioning as the PI or sub-contracting PI on grant projects. Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Brown at [email protected] or (508) 636-2603 to discuss potential projects even if you/your agency have minimal experience in these areas.