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Introduction

Beacon Health Options' Client Feedback Forms are very sophisticated measures of treatment outcome that differ from traditional copyrighted outcomes questionnaires employed for outcomes measurement. Client Feedback Form questionnaires are designed to be dynamic: flexible and easily modified to suit the needs of each organization and treatment population. Unlike traditional static questionnaires, which consist of a fixed number of specific items and a particular sequence, ACORN questionnaires are constructed from a pool of available items with understood psychometric properties. Access to very large normative samples of repeated assessments for each individual item makes it possible to perform very sophisticated item analysis to select items particularly well suited for the measurement task. For more discussion on questionnaire development, see the topic Outcomes Measurement 2.0

Each specific version of a questionnaire may contain a slightly different mix of items in different orders. However, since the properties of each item are known and all of the questionnaires share a number of items in common, it is possible to equate scores from different questionnaires.

This sophisticated approach to measurement is made possible by the use of the data analytic capabilities of software products from the SAS Institute.

The ACORN Toolkit data warehouse is one of the largest databases on mental health outcomes in the world, with data for over 350,000 adults, adolescents and children collected using a variety of questionnaires. The ACORN Toolkit Summary Results Viewer displays summary outcome data and graphs from various ACORN questionnaires based on all data in the data warehouse (unless an organization requests that its data not be included in the summary results). The viewer provides the user with tools to break down results by questionnaire type, diagnoses and payer plan type.

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