Our Commitment to Research
Foundations Recovery Network’s mission is to be the leader in evidence-based integrated treatment for co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders through clinical services, education and research.
We are committed to collecting, analyzing and communicating timely and reliable information about our patients, such as their needs and outcomes, so that we are able to support decisions at all levels, from the consumer to the clinician, to organizational leadership. By tracking and sharing these outcomes, our treatment teams at our facilities are able to make adjustments in program strategies and patient interventions.
Generating Valid and Reliable Results
Many programs in the addiction treatment industry generate their success rates based on patients’ successful completion of the program. This is not a fair reflection of the goal of treatment and is self-serving in its definition of success. FRN is dedicated to determining not only the results generated during treatment but also the sustainability of these results over the entire first year of recovery.
Results also must represent enough of the general population of patients to be considered reliable and valid. For the addiction treatment industry, SAMHSA has set baseline standards for measuring the reliability and validity of treatment outcomes that the majority of treatment providers simply do not use when reporting and marketing their outcomes.
The number of patients who agree to participate in research is the first critical benchmark in SAMHSA’s standards. Legitimate research attempts to enroll 100% of patients in research. In order for research to be considered reliable, a sufficient number of patients must be included in the original sample or group of participants so the researchers can eliminate the possibility of any kind of selection bias. In light of this, 80% is considered an acceptable percentage. In order to reach this baseline, tremendous effort must be made, and any type of filtering simply cannot be done.
The second SAMHSA baseline involves the percentage of enrolled patients that one is actually able to reach post-discharge for follow-up phone calls and outcomes. The organization must reach a minimum of 60% of patients for follow-up after treatment. Further recommendations include reaching patients at multiple time points: for example, 30 days, six months and one year after treatment. Again, this high percentage of patient participation generally eliminates any potential filtering and allows for the sample to more accurately reflect the population at large.
At FRN, we follow patients using research-based interviews for a full year after treatment. Patients are contacted at the recommended 30-day, six-month and one-year periods post-discharge. This allows us to determine not only the immediate impact of treatment but also the sustainability of results. Over 80% of patients enroll in our outcomes research program annually and results are based on reaching at least 60% of those patients.
Unlike individual case studies or simple testimonials you may find elsewhere online, our outcomes reporting represents years of data collection.
Abstinence has long been used to measure outcomes in substance abuse treatment. FRN is committed to continuing to measure and report this indicator. This graph represents the aggregate metrics of reported abstinence from patients across all facilities at the one-year survey.
Real results must also be open for scrutiny by completely independent groups, such as academics, other researchers and even consumers. All true research undergoes a review process. This process requires the research to be first determined appropriate and safe by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is also given periodic updates as to progress and any problems that might have occurred as a direct result of the research study. Finally, research is reported and validated by a third party. This third party should be independent and unaffected by the results of the research. The IRB is one source of such review. Scientific journals also act as a third party when they review research findings for publishing. FRN has a long history of gathering and sharing our valid, reliable research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals and through presentations at scientific conferences around the world.
Looking to the Future of Research
In 2019, Foundations Recovery Network announced its partnership with MAP Health Management, which uses the combined power of technology with the support of peers to provide services and track outcomes of FRN’s treatment services and provide quality checks at our facilities.
This service will allow us to use the most up-to-date and relevant information to continuously improve our current programs as well as design new programs to best meet our patients where they are and address their specific needs.
We will remain committed to sharing our findings with the treatment community at large so that the benefit is always multiplied.