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RSAT Forum > Monthly Discussion > May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys View modes: 
eeagle - 4/28/2014 11:24:54 AM
May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
What kind of RSAT Satisfaction Surveys are currently out there? Does anyone have any experience with one or recommend any in particular?

eeagle - 4/29/2014 9:37:54 AM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys

Although I don’t have any suggestions regarding a specific form, studies do indicate that client satisfaction in general is associated with better drug treatment outcomes.  Not sure if this applies to clients who are also inmates.  Check out the following from : J Health Psychol. Apr 2008; 13(3): 388–400.

Patient Satisfaction and Sustained Outcomes of Drug Abuse Treatment



The authors investigated the relationship between patients’ self-rated satisfaction with treatment services during and shortly after treatment with their drug use outcomes at one year follow-up, using a U.S. national panel survey of patients in 62 methadone, outpatient, short-term residential, and long-term residential programs. A favorable evaluation of treatment near the time of discharge had a significant positive relationship with drug use improvement outcomes approximately one year later, independent of the separately measured effects of treatment duration, counseling intensity, patient adherence to treatment protocols, pre-treatment drug use patterns, and other characteristics of patients and treatment programs.


Andy Klein

RSAT TTA Project Director

eeagle - 4/29/2014 9:39:42 AM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
My suggestion would be to consult CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) manual, particularly the evaluation section or cotact CARF directly.

~Steve Valle
RSAT TTA Faculty and President of AdCare Criminal Justice Services

eeagle - 4/29/2014 9:45:52 AM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
WestCare uses a number of satisfaction surveys in its residential corrections programs based on program model (and if I may add my 2 cents, client input is invaluable!! We have made significant changes based on this feedback). I have attached 2 samples. Also note that TCU has a satisfaction survey embedded as part of their Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment assessment battery (the treatment engagement form).


Dawn Ruzich
Director, Evaluation & Quality- Central Region
WestCare Foundation

izzoj - 4/29/2014 10:17:29 AM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
Thanks Andy and will do!

izzoj - 4/29/2014 10:23:12 AM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
Thank you Dawn for sharing both of those surveys with us. These will certainly help us in development of our own. 

izzoj - 4/29/2014 10:23:51 AM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
Thanks Steve!

eeagle - 4/30/2014 3:50:00 PM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys

Patient satisfaction measures are a standard part of health care quality improvement, and are probably as valuable an informational tool for staff of RSAT programs as they for other treatment programs. They are also an important tool for program administrators monitoring the performance of community-based contracted providers of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment or related supports.  Reviewing anonymous client satisfaction survey data from offenders who are receiving these contracted services can identify sub-standard care before it proliferates.
Although specialized client/patient satisfaction measures have been developed for behavioral health settings, few are targeted to SUDs, and almost none are targeted to custody settings.

The Agency for Health Care Quality and Research (AHRQ) website has measure matrix, which includes client/patient experience can be accessed by following the link 

AHRQ also has an index of measures. This link will take you to the search page for the index with results for:
Behavioral health care patients' satisfaction: adult patients' overall rating of the counseling or treatment they received

A fact sheet about measuring client satisfaction, listed on the AHQR, was developed by the Massachusetts Health Quality Partners. Although the information is geared to medical setting, it is worth reading as much of it applies:

It is possible to measure the client satisfaction/experience and control for population characteristics, such as court mandated or in custody. At one time, it was thought that the opioin of people receiving mental health care was not a reliable measurement. Measuring clients’ expereince in SUD treatment is new, and most commonly measured by the GAIN assessment, which provides a stand alone treatment satisfaction index,. To learn more about it go to:

Here is an example of a recent report from the State of Maine and their report on the data they found from measuring clients’ expereince in SUD treatment:

Regarding concerns about the validity of self report information from offenders, some self report information may be viewed as suspect, and other self report data seems accurate.  The except below is from the report:
Screening and Assessment of Co-Occurring  Disorders in the Justice System,  (Peters, Bartoi and Sherman,  Louis de la Parte Center Mental Health Law and Policy , USF for the National GAINS Center, 2008)

Self-Report Information

Screening and assessment of mental and substance use disorders in the justice system is usually based on self-report information. This information has been found to have good reliability and specificity, but does not always help to identify the full range of symptoms of co-occurring disorders (Drake, Rosenberg, & Mueser, 1996). In general, self-report information is more accurate in detecting alcohol use than drug use (Stone, Greenstein, Gamble, & McClellan, 1993). Individuals in the criminal justice system, particularly those with mental health problems, are often more willing to acknowledge alcohol use rather than illicit drug use and are generally better able to report frequency of use than consequences of use. However, given negative consequences associated with detection of either alcohol or drug use, it is widely accepted that self-report information should be supplemented by collateral information and drug testing.

Self-report information obtained from justice-involved individuals has been found to be valid and useful for treatment planning (Landry, Brochu, & Bergeron, 2003), although self-reports of recent substance abuse are not always accurate (De Jong & Wish, 2000; Gray & Wish, 1999; Lu, Taylor, & Riley, 2001; Magura & Kang, 1997; Yacoubian, VanderWall, Johnson, Urbach, & Peters, 2003). Harrison (1997) found that only half of the arrestees who tested positive for drug use reported recent use. Self-reported substance abuse by justice-involved individuals has been found to be less accurate than that of clients in treatment and patients interviewed in emergency rooms (Magura & Kang, 1997). In post-adjudicatory settings, self-reported criminal history information tends to be more comprehensive than that found in archival records and is quite consistent with archival records for demographic information.

-Niki Miller, RSAT TTA Faculty

pbarbour - 5/1/2014 12:16:25 PM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
 I checked with one of our staff who happens to be a CARF surveyor and she said while CARF does recommend satisfaction surveys for clients and staff, they make no specific recommendations on forms. I think Dawn's suggestion would in deed be a good place to start.

izzoj - 5/7/2014 9:45:30 AM
RE:May 2014: RSAT Satisfaction Surveys
Thanks Niki for all the information.  I will dive into it and see what we can gain from it all. 


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