According to Mark Twain there are…”Lies, damned lies, and statistics“. I tend to assume that the general population may feel as vulnerable relying on statistical information and research reports as I do relying on a mechanic to tell me what is wrong with my vehicle. Despite the fact that there are untrustworthy mechanics and researchers I’ve come to trust a mechanic or two and I sincerely strive to provide trustworthy information to those whom I report outcomes to.
Numbers matter because without them our perspective on what effective treatment looks like can decay and become distorted. We need numbers to help provide clinicians and practitioners with a reality check, and our clients with reasonable expectations about what results they should expect. Without numbers we are left with highly subjective interpretations of success rates and salesmanship tactics. Numbers serve as an anchor to reality.
At RCA we not only cooperate with other competing troubled teen programs to gather data and investigate outcomes, we also design research questions, execute studies, and analyze data in-house to ensure that we are doing as much as possible to provide the highest caliber of treatment. By Mike Petree, Director of Research, RedCliff Ascent Family of Therapeutic Programs.