Monday, November 30, 2009

Therapeutic Services Program Evaluation

from Kirsti Mouncey, Vice President of Client and Clinical Services

Do you ever wonder what happens to the people you talk to on the hotline? Do you wonder if the woman who you advocated for on a hospital call actually ever calls for counseling services? Are you curious if the guy who calls the hotline to support himself in his healing process actually ever gets better?

Well, I can’t give you all the answer to those questions. What I can tell you however is that 21% of all the therapy clients who come to us for services are referred by the hotline and 59% have heard about us in the hospital.

We just recently learned through a program evaluation that the people who come to CRCC to receive therapeutic services experience a significant reduction in their trauma symptoms and report extremely high levels of satisfaction. Reading the report has certainly affirmed me that the work we do actually really helps people – something I can easily forget in day-to-day business of things.

I am also reminded how important all of you are, advocates and hotline volunteers, to make this first connection with someone and let them know that hope and healing are possible. I am certain that the people who you refer to the center have been heard, believed and listened to in a way that they felt comfortable enough to make yet another difficult call. Thank you all for being such an important link in our chain. As you can see, healing is possible!

Here is the summary for you to read. Please contact me if you are interested in the entire report.

CRCC Program Evaluation
Executive Summary

This report describes an evaluation of Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC) services conducted by external consultants with no prior relationship with CRCC. The purpose of the evaluation was to provide information about the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions for survivors of sexual assault.

The sample was 88% female. The average age was 27.64 years. Forty-eight percent of the sample was Caucasian, 42% African American, and 10% reported other ethnic groups. The sample was also diverse economically, with 28% reporting household incomes less than $15,000 per year and 20% reporting annual incomes above $50,000.

The evaluation collected three types of data, including: (1) A standardized measure of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, (2) Questions designed by program staff specifically to assess participant experiences of CRCC services, with responses given on numerical scales, and (3) Qualitative, narrative data -- in other words, comments written by participants

In a longitudinal analysis for all participants with measures at two timepoints (i.e., an analysis combining clients receiving individual therapy, group therapy, and both), the results indicated significant reduction in PTSD symptoms during the course of CRCC services. An analysis including all participants who received individual therapy (whether or not group therapy was also received) replicated this basic finding and also provided separate examination of the three PTSD symptom clusters distinguished by our measure. These results indicated similar decreases in subscales measuring, (1) re-experiencing the trauma, (2) numbing and avoidance, and (3) hyperarousal.

When the PTSD data were analyzed for clients receiving only individual therapy and clients receiving only group therapy (thus eliminating clients who received both), the results indicated significant reduction of syptoms in clients receiving individual therapy, but group therapy clients did not exhibit significant symptom decreases. These results suggest that if PTSD is a major problem for a survivor, individual therapy should be part of the service mix, while group therapy may be less important for treating PTSD.

Program-specific data generally indicated that participants had extremely positive experiences and responses to CRCC therapeutic services. In our examination of what clients found helpful, the results provided similar levels of strong support for the emotional/expressive and cognitive/learning aspects of therapy. The qualitative data echoed the quantitative results in indicating extremely high levels of client satisfaction.

1 comment:

  1. Wendy, can you send me a copy of the report? I'm really interested in what scale they used regarding PTSD symptom severity, and I'd like to pass a copy off to my prof. I think she'd also be interested in it.