Hamm Research in Action

Introduction to Research

Hamm Clinic launched its research program over ten years ago in an effort to measure the effectiveness of its programs, to provide raw data for applied research and to introduce clinical outcome measures into its clinical training program. Starting in 1999, Hamm Clinic began using a relatively new outcome measure known as the Outcome Questionnaire 45.2, or OQ 45.2 as the basis of its research. Today, the OQ45 is nationally recognized as a valid and useful metric for self-reported client outcomes.

 

We request all clients complete the OQ 45 at the initial session and every 30 days after that. It takes about five minutes. All clients are expected to participate in completing these questionnaires although a client’s decision not participate is honored without compromising access to services in any way. Over 95% of our clients participate in this quick, useful research effort. Questionnaires are completed on site, electronically filed, and entered into the medical record. Responses to the questionnaires inform the provider about how therapy is going and combined data from all clients are used to judge the effectiveness of services across clinic providers.

 

Clients come through our doors experiencing a wide array of life circumstances, and determining the effectiveness of counseling can be a complicated task. Mental health research shows that a mix of issues such as physical health, financial security, family support, personal safety, race and gender play a major role in treatment outcome. At the same time, research shows a comfort level with a given mental health provider, the extent to which client and provider clearly communicate, and the provider's knowledge of specific skills are also important determinants of client success in treatment. Access to psychotropic medication, where needed and with appropriate follow-up, can also make a substantial contribution to client well-being and progress toward goals.

 

Hamm Clinic’s research program helps assess the effectiveness of our services and it demonstrates our commitment to providing quality services to our clients.  Likewise, our dedication to long-term research shows the degree to which we value our effort to contribute knowledge to the overall mental health profession locally and nationally. At its core the research program represents the integration of clinical practice, research, and training to ensure that the care provided at Hamm Clinic meets or exceeds the quality standards of our community.