Treatment Outcomes

Treatment Outcomes

When someone is choosing a treatment center for their loved one, the question that matters most is “does this rehab have a good track record of helping their clients stop using drugs & alcohol and remain clean and sober long-term?”  Unfortunately, with the exception of a few of the biggest treatment organizations, few rehabs have had the ability to generate trustworthy data to address this concern.

Vista Research Group’s Treatment Outcomes Research has been designed to cost-effectively provide hard data certifying the effectiveness of a treatment center’s program in helping alcoholics and drug addicts achieve long-term sobriety. 


Research Design

The comprehensive Treatment Outcomes program includes the following elements:

Data Collection:  Vista will attempt to get pertinent data from clients of the treatment center at four points – early in their stay at the center, one month after leaving treatment, six months after leaving treatment, and one year after leaving treatment.   

  1. Intake Interview:  The treatment center will request that all clients take an online intake interview (preliminary version is here) either immediately upon their admission to the center or during their first month.  In order to increase the likelihood that we are able to reach more than 50% of all previous clients at the one-year point, the center should do its best to ensure that at least 90% of their clients complete the intake interview and agree to be part of this research.

  2. One Month Follow-Up Interview:  Vista Research Group will attempt to contact all clients who left treatment one month previously to answer the questions outlined in the one-month follow-up interview either over the phone or online.

  3. Six Month Follow-Up Interview:   Vista will attempt to contact all clients who left treatment six months previously to answer the questions outlined in the six-month follow-up interview either over the phone or online.

  4. One Year Follow-Up Interview:   Vista will attempt to contact all clients who left treatment one year previously to answer the questions outlined in the one-year follow-up interview either over the phone or online.

Vista will make at least 7 attempts to reach each client at each interview time.  If it appears that the client no longer has the same cell phone and/or email, we will reach out to the family members and/or friends the client has identified in the intake interview to determine how best to reach this person.

Random Sampling:  For treatment centers treating more than 275 clients per year, Vista will follow a statistical protocol to choose a random sample of 250 clients from among those completing the intake interview.  All follow-up interviews will be conducted among members of the random sample only.

Data Analysis:  Vista will provide each treatment centers with updated reports once each quarter analyzing the results to date.  An example of a report summarizing how successful a center’s clients were at remaining sober one year after treatment is available here.  In addition to overall summaries, this report contains data on different subsets of the client population as well as qualitative feedback on what elements of the treatment center’s program clients found particularly helpful or felt needed to be improved. 


Rights & Responsibilities


Confidentiality:   Vista will keep all individual data completely confidential and secure, and will only share aggregated data from groups of clients with a treatment center.  However, if one of the clients admits during a follow-up interview that they are using drugs or alcohol and specifically gives a Vista researcher permission to tell the treatment center they’d like help, we will immediately notify the treatment center.

HIPAA Compliance:  Vista will comply with all HIPAA requirements for data protection, security and confidentiality.  Data will be collected, analyzed and maintained in a data center specializing in HIPAA compliance, and Vista’s customized database program will limit access to sensitive data to users on a need-to-know basis.  Vista will enter into a HIPAA Business Associate Contract with treatment centers requesting one. 

Excellence in Treatment Award:  If at least 25% of a treatment center’s clients claim to have not used drugs or alcohol in the last 30 days one year after leaving treatment, the center will be eligible to receive the Excellence in Treatment award from Vista Research Group’s sister organization, Conquer Addiction.  Learn more here


Publishing Rights:  If a treatment center’s results are not as positive as expected, they have the right to choose to not publish them.  However, Vista Research Group would still maintain the right to combine the treatment center’s data with results from other treatment centers for the purpose of developing aggregated addiction- and treatment-related statistics for the treatment industry as a whole.  


A private donor has agreed to cover a substantial portion of the first year’s costs for up to 10 treatment centers.  Centers who are selected to be part of this group will pay the following:

Smaller centers:  $100 per year for each client completing the intake interview

Centers with random sampling:  $25,000 per year


Want to Learn More?

If you think your treatment center would benefit from receiving independent, hard data proving its effectiveness, please email us to receive more information about our program.


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