Program evaluation of a new brief treatment unit: An examination of treatment variables, patient variables, and their interactions

Michael R Kandle, Pace University


In September of 1986, a new "Brief Treatment Unit" (BTU) was opened at the Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene (DC/DMH) in Poughkeepsie, NY. The principal goal of this unit was to reduce strain on the Poughkeepsie Mental Health Clinic (PMHC) by: (a) providing an alternative model of treatment to meet short term needs, (b) reducing levels of premature termination, and (c) improving the efficiency of treatment delivery. In order to assess the level of success the BTU achieved in reaching these goals, this program evaluation was undertaken. Data was extracted from the DC/DMH computer archives on a total of 716 patients treated the PMHC and the BTU during a three year period. This data was broken down into 15 variable categories representing (a) treatment unit, (b) patient characteristics, (c) efficiency measures, and (d) treatment outcome. Hypotheses were analyzed through the computation of (a) zero-order correlations, (b) a series of 2 x 2 Analyses of Covariance, and (c) hierarchical regression analysis. There were several important findings, some confirming and others disconfirming the program hypotheses. The BTU was found to produce significantly more effective treatment outcomes than the PMHC, despite patient demographics or diagnoses. The BTU was also found to be significantly more effective in treating patients with "situational" disorders than the PMHC. There were no significant differences found between the units in terms of the efficiency variables. The results of the program evaluation are discussed on both theoretical and practical levels. Several recommendations are provided to enhance the delivery of treatments services at the DC/DMH, which include expanding the services of the BTU, and setting time limits on treatment in addition to a limit on the amount of treatment provided. Lastly, a diagnostic classification system utilized in this program evaluation is recommended for future research on similar topics.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Kandle, Michael R, "Program evaluation of a new brief treatment unit: An examination of treatment variables, patient variables, and their interactions" (1991). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9134217.



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