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Patient Feedback Effectiveness Study

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Paul Crits-Christoph, University of Pennsylvania Identifier:
First received: November 24, 2008
Last updated: January 18, 2012
Last verified: January 2012
The purpose of the study is to determine if a semi-automated quality improvement system that provides addiction counselors with feedback on their average treatment satisfaction and therapeutic alliance (as rated by patients currently in treatment) is superior to no feedback in 32 community-based outpatient addiction treatment clinics.

Condition Intervention
Substance Use Disorders Behavioral: Other: quality improvement feedback system Behavioral: Patient Feedback

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Official Title: Patient Feedback Effectiveness Study

Further study details as provided by Paul Crits-Christoph, University of Pennsylvania:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • clinician average weekly caseload patient-rated therapeutic alliance [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]

Enrollment: 118
Study Start Date: November 2006
Study Completion Date: April 2009
Primary Completion Date: November 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Feedback to counselors
substance abuse counselors received feedback reports on their average performance and on the average performance of the clinic as a whole. Feedback reports contained information on average alliance, treatment satisfaction, and drug/alcohol use.
Behavioral: Other: quality improvement feedback system
Surveys patients regarding treatment experiences.
Behavioral: Patient Feedback
Weekly feedback reports provided to counselors
No Intervention: Treatment as Usual
No feedback reports were provided in this arm.

Detailed Description:
Quality improvement (Ql) methods are a cornerstone of business and healthcare management throughout the United States yet there have been few studies of Ql interventions in addiction treatment settings. The proposed study tests the effectiveness of one Ql system - Patient Feedback (PF) - at increasing outpatient group therapy attendance and self-reported abstinence. The feasibility and acceptability of PF was established in a six-site study conducted within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. In the proposed study, 32 community-based outpatient treatment programs with approximately 250 clinicians will be randomly assigned to PF, or usual clinic practices. In the PF condition, every week fro 12 weeks clinic patients are invited to complete a 12-item, self-administered survey in which they rate therapeutic alliance and treatment satisfaction, and report past week substance use. These anonymous surveys are faxed by clinic staff to a University of Pennsylvania data center where a custom software application converts the surveys into feedback reports and posts them to a password protected website. Clinicians can access their caseload feedback reports and aggregated reports for the whole clinic; supervisors can only access the aggregated clinic reports. On a monthly basis staff meet as a team to review the feedback reports and develop Ql plans intended to yield improvements in select Ql indicators. The PF website and the monthly PF e-newsletter provide social recognition, clinical resources, and a virtual community for participating clinicians. After 12 weeks, participants in both conditions complete follow-up measures and then both groups are given open access to PF for 12 additional months. During "sustainability phase" staff usage of the PF website is monitored. Alternate versions of the PF Survey are introduced during the sustainability study, including one that monitors HIV risk behavior. The rapid processing of surveys enables near real time feedback to clinic staff. Organizations may share their feedback reports with funding sources, regulatory agencies, policy makers, and other stakeholders. This centralized, semi-automated feedback system eases fulfillment of accreditation requirements and as such, reduces the cost of clinic operations.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • program: adult, outpatient, non-methadone maintenance substance abuse treatment programs
  • clinician: must be leading at least one weekly group with minimum of 5 patients
  • must be working at least 20% time at facility

Exclusion Criteria:

  • clinics with fewer than 5 clinicians who conduct weekly group counseling
  • clinics in which fewer than 50% of clinicians agree to participate
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00798044

United States, New York
New York University School of Medicine
New York, New York, United States, 10010
United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Paul Crits-Christoph, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
  More Information

Responsible Party: Paul Crits-Christoph, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT00798044     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00622154
Other Study ID Numbers: R01DA020799 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: November 24, 2008
Last Updated: January 18, 2012

Keywords provided by Paul Crits-Christoph, University of Pennsylvania:
quality improvement
substance use disorders

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on August 21, 2017