Author Topic: Long-Term Outcome Studies  (Read 9619 times)

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Offline Whooter

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Long-Term Outcome Studies
« on: September 22, 2009, 06:56:53 AM »
Long-Term Outcome Studies of Wilderness Therapy Programs Show Teens Improve at SUWS of the Carolinas

Aspen Education Group has participated in multiple independent research studies to ensure that we provide the most cutting-edge, evidence-based therapeutic practices and clinical models within each of our programs. As the leading provider of therapeutic education programs for youth and young adults, we feel it is our responsibility to measure the effectiveness of our methods and the sustainability of our results.

Aspen Education Group’s Outdoor Behavior Healthcare (OBH) programs, also referred to as wilderness therapy, participated in two long-term, independent research studies, most recently from March 2006 through October 2008. One hundred-ninety adolescents, ages 14-17, enrolled in three different wilderness therapy programs were assessed at admission; one week after they started treatment; graduation from the wilderness therapy program; three months after graduation; and 12 months after graduation. Adolescent participants in wilderness therapy programs experienced reported struggling with issues such as substance use, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, ADHD and academic performance
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Offline Oscar

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 08:02:06 AM »
The outcome of any research is depending of who is paying the bill for this research. Every single Saturday one of our TV-channels have a program where members of the news media have to confess what story they published last week they are sorry to have tormented the public with.

4 of 10 times it is a headline showing something a company wants people to believe in. It could be new medication or food product etc. but that very day where companies like Aspen enter Denmark, they will be cited on Saturdays too.

Whenever the justice department in Denmark ask what to do with troubled teens, their research states that the answer is social workers, family therapists and personal mentors in the local community. Of course we have a lot of politicians writing such research of and then they come into office and order yet a research to be conducted.

Result: The answer is the same.

Kids belong in the families. If a family is disfunctional, then the answer is court-ordered therapy of the parents.
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Offline Whooter

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 08:24:11 AM »
Quote from: "Oscar"
The outcome of any research is depending of who is paying the bill for this research.


Who else is willing to pay for it?  If you develop a new drug you need to come up with the 25 million or so yourself to have it tested, no one does this for free.  What Aspen did was choose an outside agency which does research for a living and then get a university to work in parrallel with them.  This is about as independent as you can get.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 10:29:56 AM »
At least big pharmaceutical companies make allowances up front for the billion dollar lawsuits that often follow a drug which has crept out the back door onto the market. Instead of spending that money on research, the companies would rather get it on the market now and pay later.
Get your kid into the program now and pay later. It is the gift that keeps on giving-kinda like syphilis.
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 10:57:31 AM »
Quote from: "Whooter"
One hundred-ninety adolescents, ages 14-17, enrolled in three different wilderness therapy programs were assessed at admission; one week after they started treatment; graduation from the wilderness therapy program; three months after graduation; and 12 months after graduation.
Five different time points does not obscure the fact that these teens were assayed during a window in which long term damage cannot be seen.

Twelve months post-graduation? Pffft. Where are the assays at 2 years? Five years? Ten years? And yet these are are referred to as "Long-Term Outcome Studies!" Gaw-leeeee!

Moreover, there is no information in this overt piece of viral marketing regarding HOW these assays were conducted. "Informal surveys" sent out? Disregarding for the moment the general bias inherent in such surveys, what percentage were actually returned?

And... where oh where are the links to these so-called "independent research studies?"
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Offline Whooter

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2009, 12:15:36 PM »
Social conflict and aggressive behaviors decrease. Reduction of these self-defeating behaviors continues post-graduation, with greatest improvement shown at the 12-month follow-up assessment.

These results suggest that Aspen Education Group's wilderness therapy programs are teaching important emotion regulation skills, as well as providing a climate for adolescents to rehearse newly acquired strategies to manage negative emotions such as worry, sadness, and anger. Overall findings provide considerable support for the use of wilderness therapy programs in treating resistant adolescents.

Research conducted by: Ellen Behrens, Ph.D., Canyon Research & Consulting, Inc.; Sarah (Salli) Lewis, Ph.D. and Ellen Leen-Feldner, Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy and Arkansas Institute of Developmental Science; Keith Russell, Ph.D., Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative, University of Minnesota.
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Offline Troll Control

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2009, 12:25:38 PM »
Post the study.  Your word is worthless.  BTW, why did you create the login "Whooter" if you're just going to troll anon anyway?  What's the point?

Anyway, this so-called study, based on anonymous surveys, not any clinical data has been thoroughly debunked several times here already.  Post the "study" and I'll post the the obvious knock-outs of this flimsy marketing white paper.

Admins, it's time to link up "Whooter" to all of his anon posts again.  Under the previous agreement, this should happen immediately.
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Offline Troll Control

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2009, 12:35:40 PM »
Quote from: "Guest"
Social conflict and aggressive behaviors decrease. Reduction of these self-defeating behaviors continues post-graduation, with greatest improvement shown at the 12-month follow-up assessment.

These results suggest that Aspen Education Group's wilderness therapy programs are teaching important emotion regulation skills, as well as providing a climate for adolescents to rehearse newly acquired strategies to manage negative emotions such as worry, sadness, and anger. Overall findings provide considerable support for the use of wilderness therapy programs in treating resistant adolescents.

Research conducted by: Ellen Behrens, Ph.D., Canyon Research & Consulting, Inc.; Sarah (Salli) Lewis, Ph.D. and Ellen Leen-Feldner, Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy and Arkansas Institute of Developmental Science; Keith Russell, Ph.D., Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative, University of Minnesota.

No need to wait.  The sound you hear is this "study" circling the toilet drain...

Quote from: "Dysfunction Junction"
Quote from: ""esarks""
This paper presents the results from the first phase of a longitudinal, multi-center study of outcomes in private residential treatment.  It is the first known large-scale attempt at a systematic exploration of client characteristics, treatment outcomes, and discharge predictors in private residential treatment.  The sample of nearly 1000 adolescents, from nine private residential programs, was about equally likely to be male or female, from middle or upper socioeconomic backgrounds and predominately white.  Ninety-five percent had prior treatment and 85% were treated for multiple presenting problems, the most common of which were disruptive behavior, mood, and substance abuse problems.  Parents and adolescents reported significant improvement during treatment on adolescent communication, family relationships, and compliance.  Analyses of variance indicated that both adolescents and parents reported a significant reduction in problems from admission to discharge, on each aggregate measure psycho-social functioning (Total Problems Scores, Internalizing Scales, and Externalizing Scales of the Child Behavior CheckList, CBCL, and Youth Self-Report, YSR) and nearly every syndrome (15 of 16 YSR and CBCL Syndrome scales). Only two out of 22 treatment and non-treatment-related variables (Grade Point Average and Mood Disorder) interacted with outcomes.  Furthermore, in stepwise regression analyses, testing a wide array of treatment and non-treatment variables, only a handful of variables predicted discharge functioning.  Taken together, the analyses suggested that adolescent problems improve significantly during private residential treatment and that, with only a few exceptions, discharge functioning and in-treatment change are relatively similar, regardless of adolescent background, history, problems, and treatment factors.  Implications and research recommendations are presented.

http://http://natsap.org/Behrens.doc

So, then, let's begin with the scrutiny, shall we?

Here are the facts about the "study" you quoted and the research of the APA which believes PARENT TRAINING is the effective way to work with "troubled teens":

Thanks to Deb for doing the legwork...

Quote
The study implies that NATSAP programs are "licensed". How many are licensed? Their flagship program, HLA, isn?t and hasn't been since its inception.
This was not an Independent study. One must consider the author?s connections with the industry.

C Smoot employed by AEG and serveral other RTCs.
Smoot and Behrens co-create Evidence Based Consulting.
Behrens Clinical Director for AEG's Youth Care program, Member NATSAP.
Smoots 'partner' with AEGs Youth Care program.
Smoots are 'associates' of Open Sky Wilderness, Member NATSAP.
Behrens creates Canyon Research and Consulting- most of their clients are AEG programs.
Smoot and Behrens pitch EBC to NATSAP.
Dr. Kevin Fenstermacher employed by both EBC and CRC.

Looks more like a concerted effort to shore up the industry?s reputation, and give parents a false sense of security.

Who is Ellen Behrens, lead researcher at Canyon Research & Consulting, Salt Lake City, Utah?

Sept 2005- AEG?s Youth Care in Draper, Utah ?partners? with Evidence Based Consulting (EBC), a group of psychologists. (Only 2 listed- Tracine and Carl Smoot)- committed to fulfilling the National Institute of Mental Health's agenda for the application of evidence-based research in testing, assessment and treatment.
This is how the innovative partnership works: EBC provides testing services for Youth Care students by using up-to-date psychological tests, interpretive strategies, and treatment recommendations that are suggested in the research literature. In collaboration with Youth Care therapists, a strategic treatment plan is developed, utilizing research-based practices and measurements. The additional perspective of EBC psychologists provides the best possible assessments and treatment for Youth Care students.
http://www.strugglingteens.com/artman/p ... 5186.shtml

More on Evidence Based Consulting
http://www.evidencebasedconsulting.com/

Behrens, Clinical Dir of Youth Care
http://wwf.fornits.com/viewtopic.php?p=218094#218094

Smoot?s are ?Associates? of Open Sky Wilderness
Prior to completing his graduate work, Carl was employed in hospital management. He successfully ran two inpatient psychiatry programs and was later a therapist at (AEGs) Youth Care, Inc.
http://www.openskywilderness.com/assoc.htm

Oct 2005- AEG hosts workshop in Utah. One of the guest speakers:
Ellen Behrens, PhD discussed out of home treatment outcome research. She is the co-founder of Evidence Based Consulting. Behrens was the principal investigator for a large, multi-center study on student outcomes in residential treatment.
http://www.strugglingteens.com/artman/p ... 5204.shtml

June ?05 Ellen Behrens and Tracine Smoot pitch ?Evidence-based Practice? to NATSAP members.
http://www.natsap.org/Newsletters/NATSA ... letter.pdf

Dr. Kevin Fenstermacher works for both ?Evidence Based Consulting? (Smoots) and ?Canyon Research and Consulting? (Behrens).
http://canyonrc.com/experience.html
http://psychologicalsolutions.info/exec ... 0team.html

Who are CRCs clients? And, who funded this study?
http://canyonrc.com/experience.html
A whole slew of AEG programs.

Under Links at CRCs website one is taken to the APAs Empirically Supported Treatments page. http://www.apa.org/divisions/div12/rev_est/index.html
Their recommendations, under Oppositional Disorders:
Because the immediate goal of treatment is to develop parenting skills, the therapist begins by having parents apply new skills to relatively simple problems (e.g., compliance, completion of chores, oppositional behavior). As parents become proficient using the initial techniques, the child's most serious problem behaviors at home and in school are addressed (e.g., fighting, poor school performance, truancy, stealing, firesetting). In most PMT (PARENT Management Training) programs, the therapist maintains close telephone contact with the parents in-between sessions. These contacts are used to encourage parents to ask questions about the home programs, to provide an opportunity for the therapist to prompt compliance with the behavior-change programs and reinforce parents' use of the skills, to strengthen the therapeutic alliance, and to allow the therapist to problem-solve when programs are not modifying child behavior effectively.

II. Summary of Studies Supporting Treatment Efficacy
PMT is one of the most extensively studied therapies for children and has been shown to be effective in decreasing oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior (for reviews of research, see Dumas, 1989; Forehand & Long, 1988; Kazdin, 1985; Miller & Prinz, 1990; Moreland, Schwebel, Beck, & Wells, 1982). Randomized controlled trials have found that PMT is more effective in changing antisocial behavior and promoting prosocial behavior than many other treatments (e.g. relationship, play therapy, family therapies, varied community services) and control conditions (e.g. waiting-list, "attention-placebo"). Follow-up data have shown that gains are maintained from posttreatment to 1 and 3 years after treatment has ended. One research team found that noncompliant children treated by parent training were functioning as well as nonclinic individuals approximately 14 years later (Long, Forehand, Wierson, & Morgan, 1994). The benefits of PMT often generalize to areas that are not focused on directly during therapy. For example, improvements in parental adjustment and functioning, marital satisfaction, and sibling behavior have been found following therapy. Overall, perhaps no other technique has been as carefully documented and empirically supported as PMT in treating conduct problems.
A unique feature of PMT is the abundance of research on child, parent, and family factors that moderate treatment effects. Moreover, PMT, either alone or in combination with other techniques, has been applied with promising effects to other populations including autistic children, mentally retarded children and adolescents, adjudicated delinquents, and parents who physically abuse their children. The principles and procedures on which PMT relies have also been applied in many settings including schools, institutions, community homes, day-care facilities, and facilities for the elderly.
http://www.apa.org/divisions/div12/rev_ ... child.html

One must also consider the report presented August 12 at the American Psychological Association Convention by Allison Pinto PhD.
http://apinto.blog.usf.edu/2006/08/21/e ... -treatment

Now, please tell me how the "study" you cited is anything more than a shill-piece for NATSAP.  I'd be delighted to hear your answer.


This so-called study is omplete and utter bunk.  Now it has been completely de-bunked.  Next study, please.  Make this one a clinical study instead of a survey, ok?  This one is laughable.
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Offline Whooter

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2009, 12:48:42 PM »
Quote from: "Guest"
Post the study.  Your word is worthless.  BTW, why did you create the login "Whooter" if you're just going to troll anon anyway?  What's the point?

Anyway, this so-called study, based on anonymous surveys, not any clinical data has been thoroughly debunked several times here already.  Post the "study" and I'll post the the obvious knock-outs of this flimsy marketing white paper.

Admins, it's time to link up "Whooter" to all of his anon posts again.  Under the previous agreement, this should happen immediately.

This was an independent study conducted by  Ellen Behrens, Ph.D., Canyon Research & Consulting, Inc.; Sarah (Salli) Lewis, Ph.D. and Ellen Leen-Feldner, Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy and Arkansas Institute of Developmental Science; Keith Russell, Ph.D., Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative, University of Minnesota.

What I typically do is contact the research and consulting firm for the details if needed, but they are not going to give you the names of the participants or raw data if that is your need. I may be able to find the tables and graphs which they provided via a link.

I find it interesting that after all this time of demanding independent studies and then when provided you change your tune.  This occured when everyone was jumping up and down for regulation and licensure and then after they were regulatated you called the regulation agencies ineffective lol.  Are you going to place the researchers and research firms on your axis of evil list now?

As far as linking up posts.  I believe RobertBruce has been waiting for his posts be linked up for some time now but there is some difficulty  getting it done on the present revision.  So any discussion on that topic will have to wait.
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2009, 01:03:31 PM »
Quote from: "Guest"
BTW, why did you create the login "Whooter" if you're just going to troll anon anyway? What's the point?
The point is he needs a registered user address through which he can facilitate contact with parents or other interested parties via fornits. This way they can PM him or email him for his "unbiased" expertise on parenting and the TTI as a whole, or for whatever reason there may be.

Many on fornits call him "Whooter," so this is as good a name as any, as far as his recognizability is concerned. However, he may not always want to be recognized.   :D
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2009, 01:51:53 PM »
One of the proplems with reports is that they are so broad and vague.  I, for one, would like to see the actual "theraputic" strategies broken down into their components and have program supporters explain how they think children benefit from them and if they would accept the same strategies in their own 'therapy.  In talking about what is good or not we need to identify the "what".

Takle CEDU for instance.  One strategy was to have a workshop where kids were kept awake for 24 hours at a time with little food or bathroom breaks.  A girl, for instance would be screamed at by foaming at the mouth staff who would call her a whore, slut, cunt, lesbian, liar until the girl would break down in tears.  

So explain the theraputic value of sleep deprivation, being screamed at and called names.  How is this beneficial, what behavior is it supposed to change and would you tolerate this "therapy" for yourself?

Another strategy is for the staff to elict confessions and admissions from students of any past embarrassing, traumatic event then have it announced to all of the other studentsl.  For instance a student that had been molested would be forced to discuss it in detail with the other students.  Quite often they would be screamed at and blamed for being raped.  So please explain to us how this "therapy" is beneficial and would you be willing to sit in a goup of your peers while every traumatic, embarrassing event in yourI life is put on display for them to judge.

It would be interesting to explore the actual "therapies" used and have a discussion about in what way they were beneficial.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2009, 02:00:56 PM »
OH, and don't forget to cite your sources:

For example

Dr. X in X clinical study has difinitively proven the theraputic value of a young rape victim being called a whore and a slut in his published study in the Journal of the AMA dated xx
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Offline psy

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2009, 04:02:39 PM »
Quote from: "Ursus"
Moreover, there is no information in this overt piece of viral marketing regarding HOW these assays were conducted. "Informal surveys" sent out? Disregarding for the moment the general bias inherent in such surveys, what percentage were actually returned?

Not to metion: who filled out the surveys?  (Parents or the kids themselves?)...  Also, who is to say aspen gave a full list of students to the company performing the "research"?  Also, what is this independent group that did the research.  Do you mean independent like Behrens the ed-con (like last time)?

So where is the source for this information, Whooter?  I want details.  I don't see any sources or links in your original post. Also, I see the post only mentioning Suws of the Carolinas benefiting kids in the title.  Is Aspen at the very least willing to concede the majority of their "treatment" at the very least just plain does not work?
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2009, 04:31:26 PM »
Whooter appears desperate.  Even an idiot like him should know this shill-piece by Aspen employees and other industry workers doesn't pass even the most cursory examination.

Once again, this is the BEST the industry has to offer from some 40 years of its history.  This alone should hip parents to the fact that no evidence whatsover exists that proves programs treat anything or anyone effectively.

Surprising softball from idiot boy.

Now link up those posts Whooter.  No excuses.
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Offline Whooter

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Re: Long-Term Outcome Studies
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2009, 05:37:20 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Ursus"
Moreover, there is no information in this overt piece of viral marketing regarding HOW these assays were conducted. "Informal surveys" sent out? Disregarding for the moment the general bias inherent in such surveys, what percentage were actually returned?

Not to metion: who filled out the surveys?  (Parents or the kids themselves?)...  Also, who is to say aspen gave a full list of students to the company performing the "research"?  Also, what is this independent group that did the research.  Do you mean independent like Behrens the ed-con (like last time)?

So where is the source for this information, Whooter?  I want details.  I don't see any sources or links in your original post. Also, I see the post only mentioning Suws of the Carolinas benefiting kids in the title.  Is Aspen at the very least willing to concede the majority of their "treatment" at the very least just plain does not work?

All very good questions, but I didnt conduct the study and it wasnt done by Aspen Education Group:

 Here are the people who did the study:This was an independent study conducted by Ellen Behrens, Ph.D., Canyon Research & Consulting, Inc.; Sarah (Salli) Lewis, Ph.D. and Ellen Leen-Feldner, Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy and Arkansas Institute of Developmental Science; Keith Russell, Ph.D., Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative, University of Minnesota.

I have a few quesions also about their plans to repeat the study and or if they are currently working on another study for TBS's.  I will see if I can get my hands on some contact information and pass it along.  I always like to see the data tables myself so I can view the data independently, but thats just me, I am sure everyone has their own wish list.

It is nice to see that Independent studies are starting to be performed, though.  Its a big step that we have all been asking for.
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