Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Decision Support and Evaluation

Listed below are behavioral health research reports and current efforts of our Decision Support and Evaluation (DSE) Section.  For more information about DSE, please contact Katie Weaver Randall at weavek@dshs.wa.gov.

Behavioral Health Research Reports

Reports by DBHR 

Reports by DSHS Research and Data Analysis (RDA)

 

Reports by the U.W. Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute


Current Efforts


The purpose of this project is to improve the screening and assessment for trauma and evidence based treatments for children, youth, and their families who are served in the Washington State public child welfare system.

The primary goals of this collaborative project are to: 

  • Improve the accessibility of evidence based mental health treatments
    that will enhance the safety, permanency, and wellbeing of children and
    youth in foster care with behavioral health care needs;
  • Create efficient strategies to connect children, youth, and families with
    appropriate and evidence-based mental health practices (EBP); and 
  • Improve communication between social workers and mental health
    providers to ensure children, youth, and families with these needs are
    identified and referred to the best available services that will result in
    better outcomes for this population.


To achieve these goals we will align screening, assessment, and mental health evidence based treatments between the child welfare, mental health, and Medicaid systems for children and youth in foster care and their families by implementing these strategies: 

  • Create a learning community with all primary stakeholders in the lives of children and families involved with the foster care system; 
  • Use validated screening measures (within child welfare) and measures of functional outcomes (within mental health), building on existing protocols in both systems; 
  • Streamline and standardize how we identify and refer youth to EBPs; 
  • Increase our mental health system capacity to deliver EBPs matched to the assessed needs of each child, emphasizing fidelity in a trauma-responsive manner; 
  • Create a feedback system between child welfare and mental health professionals to better coordinate and match mental health needs with EBPs for improved case planning efforts.

A process and outcome evaluation will document impacts on clients, services, and systems. Several recently enacted initiatives that complement this project¡¦s goals will be incorporated and leveraged to increase project breadth and reach.

Funding amount and use: Year one funding will support a comprehensive planning process. Funding for subsequent years two-five is contingent upon successful year one planning, and will be used to support infrastructure development, CA staff training, evidence-based practices service training, and evaluation-related activities. ($639,320 for year one, subsequent years depend on successful planning).

For more information contact Kathy Smith-DeJulio: smithkl1@dshs.wa.gov

Purpose
The availability of empirically supported clinical practices for the treatment of substance use disorders has increased as research moves from highly-controlled clinical trials to the real world of community treatment settings. The Evidence-Based Practices Substance Abuse (EBP) database and web site is a tool to help treatment providers and policy officials make informed decisions about which evidence-based practices are most appropriate for specific drug problems and individuals.

Criteria for Selection
Practices have published research documenting their effectiveness, and/or are recognized by reputable organizations as evidence-based. Currently, 42 practices are included, most meeting these criteria:

  • Research. The practice has been studied in randomized clinical trials, quasi-experimental studies, or in some cases, a less rigorously controlled research design. Research results are published in peer reviewed journals.
  • Meaningful outcomes. The practice has resulted in benefits to the individuals receiving the service. It has helped consumers achieve positive outcomes related to treatment goals and objectives.
  • Standardization. The practice has been standardized so that it can be replicated. Preference is given to programs which have developed a manual or similar documentation.
  • Replication. The intervention has been studied in more than one setting and findings have yielded consistent results.
  • Fidelity measure.  A fidelity measure either exists or could be developed from available information. Such measures allow practitioners to verify that an intervention is being implemented in a manner consistent with the protocol evaluated in the research.

Search Features
Users can view interventions in a matrix, browse and select by title, or search the database using a variety of descriptors such as population, drug problem, therapy type, and setting. Each entry includes a brief description of the intervention, including implementation issues, references to supporting literature, the availability of instructional manuals and training, developer notes, and other useful information.

Other Features
In addition to the database, the EBP Substance Abuse web site includes abstracts of selected review articles about the effectiveness of evidence-based practices for treating substance abuse, links to web resources for more information, and FAQs (frequently asked questions) about the EBP-Substance Abuse database and related issues.

Target Audience
This database is intended for treatment providers, administrators, and anyone else interested in researching and selecting evidence-based practices for treating substance use disorders.

Future Plans
EBP-Substance Abuse is an expanding resource. As the efficacy and effectiveness of practices are documented, they will be added to the database, and we invite nominations of practices from the treatment and research communities. If salient information about a practice is not included in the database, please let us know. Our goal is to provide a resource that helps treatment providers and policy officials make informed decisions about building effective treatment services.

EBP-Substance Abuse is a project of the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute and the Northwest Frontier Addiction Technology Transfer Center, funded by DBHR.

Contact: adai@u.washington.edu

In collaboration with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Department of Health, DBHR supports a statewide adolescent health behavior survey through local school districts. Survey data collected every two years is used for local and state prevention program planning.

The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey measures health risk behaviors that contribute to youth injuries, deaths, and social problems. These behaviors include alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, dietary behaviors and physical activity, and related risk and protective factors. Survey data can be used to link behaviors with negative consequences, such as drug use and poor school performance.

The survey results serve as an important source of needs-assessment data for school districts, community-based organizations, local health and human service agencies, and state agencies. The data are used to monitor the health status of adolescents and track progress on state and federal education and health-related goals. The information from the Healthy Youth Survey may be used to identify trends in patterns of behavior over time. State-level results may also be used to compare national and other state-level results. State and local health and safety agencies use this information to guide policies and programs that serve youth. 

Healthy Youth Survey Links:

  • Healthy Youth Survey:  Survey information and fact sheets.
  • AskHYS.netFor help with analyzing and disseminating HYS data. State and county-level HYS behavior data is available to everyone.  Access to school-level data may be granted by contacting school districts.  The system will suppress any data that has the potential to compromise students' anonymity.

For more information, contact Linda.Becker@dshs.wa.gov

This project is a collaboration with Brandeis University to study the impacts on program performance and client outcomes of two interventions: financial incentives and a client-specific alert system. Focusing on outpatient, intensive outpatient, detoxification, and residential programs, the alerts will give programs information on a weekly basis to assist them in meeting performance goals.

We will assess the differential impacts of these two interventions on subpopulations that may experience health disparities (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities or rural residents). Finally, we will explore the influences of client and treatment program characteristics on the impacts of incentives and alert systems. If successful in improving performance, other states could consider these approaches.

The project will randomize treatment programs into four groups: control, incentives only, alerts only and incentives plus alerts. During the 18-month experimental period, we will send programs in the experimental groups alerts designed to help them meet performance goals through timely reminders. The financial incentives will reward both attainment of specific targets and improvement over previous performance.

Using a difference-indifference analytic approach, we will evaluate if process measures of performance and clients' outcomes change differently over time among the various groups of programs. A larger improvement in the experimental compared with control groups will indicate the success of the financial incentives and/or client-specific alerts.

For more information contact Kevin.Campbell@dshs.wa.gov.

Since 2001, we have conducted an annual survey to ask clients who participate in chemical dependency treatment programs in Washington State their perception of the quality of the services they receive.  In addition to compiling a statewide report, DBHR prepares county-level reports and individual, confidential reports for each of the participating treatment agencies.   The purpose of these reports is to provide feedback that can be used at the state, county, and provider levels to improve the quality of alcohol and drug treatment services in Washington State.

Click here to view the Patients Speak Out 2009 Patient Satisfaction Survey report.

For more information, contact felix.rodriguez@dshs.wa.gov.

RUaD’s goal is to prevent or reduce the consumption of alcohol by minors, especially through increased enforcement of underage drinking laws.

The RUaD program receives block grant awards from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). These funds support public education efforts, Liquor Control Board enforcement efforts, workshops at the State Prevention Summit, youth leadership activities, and community-based coalitions.

DBHR also received two discretionary grants to support five communities as they implement comprehensive approaches to reducing underage drinking, with an emphasis on increasing law enforcement activity. Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Liquor Control Board are primary partners in RUaD. Other collaborators include: local law enforcement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the statewide College Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and other state agencies.

For more information contact linda.becker@dshs.wa.gov  

DBHR has commissioned a survey every three years since 1991 to monitor changes in the staffing patterns of certified chemical dependency treatment facilities in Washington State.  For each year, directors of treatment programs completed the staffing patterns survey.  The survey response rate has remained over 90 percent, except for one year when it was 85 percent.  DBHR generates a report that combines the results of the latest survey with past surveys.   The report presents changes in the staffing patterns of contract and non-contract treatment facilities with respect to race/ethnicity, gender, disability status, and multilingual ability.

Staffing Patterns in Washington State Chemical Dependency Treatment Facilities:
Trends Over a 15-Year Period report.

For more information, contact Felix.Rodriguez@dshs.wa.gov

The Washington State System of Care grant funded (SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) project will expand systems of care statewide with family-driven, youth-guided core values fully integrated in all parts of the SOC Governance Structure, the Statewide Family, Youth and System Partners Round Table (FYSPRT).

This governance structure has been adopted as the infrastructure for Children's Behavioral Health and is comprised of four regional FYSPRTs in addition to the statewide FYSPRT. Local FYSPRTs are in development. Each FYSPRT reviews and approves policy, program and practice changes at the local, regional or state levels.  The SOC expansion will focus primarily on youth ages 13-18 with serious emotional disturbances (SED), out-of-home placement, or juvenile justice/child welfare histories. For more information on the grant, system of care values and principles and the Governance Structure please see http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dbhr/systemsofcare.shtml#dbhr and http://www.dshs.wa.gov/mediareleases/2012/pr12046.shtml
PURPOSE:
1. Infuse SOC values in all systems for children, youth and families
2. Ensure services are seamless for children and youth who are the population of focus
3. Build access and availability of home and community based services
4. Develop and strengthen workforce that operationalizes SOC values
5. Build strong data management systems to inform decision making and ensure outcomes
For more information on the grant, system of care values and principles and the Governance Structure please see http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dbhr/systemsofcare.shtml#dbhr and http://www.dshs.wa.gov/mediareleases/2012/pr12046.shtml

REPORTS:
Reports will be developed through a collaborative effort between DBHR and RDA and include both programmatic and administrative data. The Children's Behavioral Health System of Care Data Quality Team, comprised of representatives of DSHS child serving systems, is developing Measures of Statewide Performance to provide a monitoring and evaluation framework for the System of Care. This outcomes-based report is intended to be relevant to all children and youth with emotional and behavioral health needs and their families served by DSHS and HCA.

For more information, contact Kathy Smith-DeJulio: smithkl1@dshs.wa.gov.

The Washington State System of Care grant funded (SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) project will expand systems of care statewide with family-driven, youth-guided core values fully integrated in all parts of the SOC Governance Structure, the Statewide Family, Youth and System Partners Round Table (FYSPRT).

This governance structure has been adopted as the infrastructure for Children's Behavioral Health and is comprised of four regional FYSPRTs in addition to the statewide FYSPRT. Local FYSPRTs are in development. Each FYSPRT reviews and approves policy, program and practice changes at the local, regional or state levels.  The SOC expansion will focus primarily on youth ages 13-18 with serious emotional disturbances (SED), out-of-home placement, or juvenile justice/child welfare histories. For more information on the grant, system of care values and principles and the Governance Structure please see http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dbhr/systemsofcare.shtml#dbhr and http://www.dshs.wa.gov/mediareleases/2012/pr12046.shtml
PURPOSE:
1. Infuse SOC values in all systems for children, youth and families
2. Ensure services are seamless for children and youth who are the population of focus
3. Build access and availability of home and community based services
4. Develop and strengthen workforce that operationalizes SOC values
5. Build strong data management systems to inform decision making and ensure outcomes
For more information on the grant, system of care values and principles and the Governance Structure please see http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dbhr/systemsofcare.shtml#dbhr and http://www.dshs.wa.gov/mediareleases/2012/pr12046.shtml

REPORTS:
Reports will be developed through a collaborative effort between DBHR and RDA and include both programmatic and administrative data. The Children's Behavioral Health System of Care Data Quality Team, comprised of representatives of DSHS child serving systems, is developing Measures of Statewide Performance to provide a monitoring and evaluation framework for the System of Care. This outcomes-based report is intended to be relevant to all children and youth with emotional and behavioral health needs and their families served by DSHS and HCA.

For more information, contact Kathy Smith-DeJulio: smithkl1@dshs.wa.gov.   

The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Primary Care Integration project is a universal, evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs.

In 2003 DBHR received a grant award to place Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDPs) in nine hospital emergency departments in six different counties.  The CDP's screened emergency department patients for substance abuse problems and provided brief intervention or referral to treatment. 

The evaluation examined the degree to which the project produces intended changes in service delivery systems to improve existing linkages to these services and to expand substance abuse services to include early intervention.  The DSHS Research and Data Analysis Division completed the evaluation report which is available at http://publications.rda.dshs.wa.gov/1412/.   

DBHR received additional funding that allows Washington to build on the success of the first grant by expanding and further integrating behavioral health care services into primary care settings.  Services are provided to adults receiving primary care in selected community health clinics in King, Whitman, Cowlitz and Clallam Counties. 

We anticipate over 96,000 adults will be screened and served over the life of the grant, which will reduce substance abuse and related injuries, and decrease health care use and costs for chronic conditions such as depression and anxiety.  The primary components of services are:

  • Screening - a healthcare professional assesses a patient for risky substance use behaviors using standard screening tools;
  • Brief Intervention - a healthcare professional engages a patient showing risky substance use behaviors in a short conversation, providing feedback and advice; and
  • Referral to Treatment - a healthcare professional provides a referral to brief therapy or additional treatment to patients who screen in need of additional services.


For more information about SBIRT, visit http://www.wasbirt.com, or email James.Oliver@dshs.wa.gov.