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Adm Policy Ment Health. 2011 Mar;38(2):96-104. doi: 10.1007/s10488-010-0306-z.

Randomized trial of enhanced profiling in substance abuse treatment.

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Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA.


A randomized trial of substance abuse treatment programs tested whether "enhanced profiles," consisting of feedback and coaching about performance indicators, improved the performance of residential, methadone, and detoxification programs. These enhanced profiles were reviewed during quarterly on-site visits between October 2005 and July 2007. The performance indicators were the percentage of clients completing referrals to a lower level of care, and the percentage of clients admitted to a higher level of care within 30 days of discharge. Control programs received only "basic profiles," consisting of emailed quarterly printouts of these performance indicators. Effectiveness was evaluated using hierarchical linear models with client-level information nested within agencies and regions of the state. Treatment programs receiving enhanced profiles (n = 74) did not perform significantly differently from those receiving only basic profiles (n = 29) on either performance measure. To improve performance, interventions with greater scope and incentives may be needed.

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