Telecare piloted the manualized Co-Occurring Education Groups at 11 of its sub-acute, residential, skilled nursing, and community-based programs. Once staff and leaders were provided with education about co-occurring conditions and recovery (and trained on the curriculum) the programs implemented the pilots, which ran from December 2014 through May 2015.
We gathered feedback and outcomes on the pilots in three ways:
- Written feedback forms completed at the end of each session (one for participants, one for facilitators)
- Two SAMHSA-recommended self-report screenings (AUDIT and DAST), which measure a person’s alcohol or drug use; screenings were given to participants whenever they attended COEG for the first time and again after all the sessions had been provided
- An in-person debriefing meeting with all the group facilitators and program leadership, after all the sessions were completed
There were several statistically significant findings from the pilot of the COEG:
- Participants said the educational material was clear and were confident they could apply it in their lives.
- A significant reduction in the percentages of participants who engaged in very high risk and those engaged in harmful drinking, along with an associated increase in the percentage of people who engaged in lower rates of drinking.
- A 14% reduction of alcohol use and 19% reduction in drug use, according to participants’ pre- and post- AUDIT and DAST screening scores.
"These initial pilot results suggest we’ve developed a program by which people start to make healthier choices in their lives; that's going to lead to a reduction in cost and an increase in people’s well-being," said Shannon.