New START Study Published in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Date: 
01/14/2019

We're pleased to share that a new START study by Luke Kalb, PhD, Joan Beasley, PhD, Andrea Caoili, LCSW, and Ann Klein, MA was published in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Improvement in Mental Health Outcomes and Caregiver Service Experiences Associated With the START Program

Luther G. Kalb, Assistant Professor, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Neuropsychology, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD; Joan Beasley, Director of the Center for START Services, Institute on Disability and National Center for START Services, University of New Hampshire; Andrea Caoilli, Director of Quality Assurance, Institute on Disability and National Center for START Services, University of New Hampshire; and Ann Klein, SIRS Database Manager, Institute on Disability and National Center for START Services, University of New Hampshire.

Abstract

This study examined outcomes from the Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment (START) program, a community-based tertiary care model for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. The sample included 111 START service users and their family caregivers, who were receiving START Clinical Team services, located in the Northeast and Southwest regions of the United States. Results from the analyses found a significant 1-year pre-post improvement in caregiver service experiences and mental health symptoms of the service user. A significant decrease in psychiatric hospitalizations and emergency department visits was also found (all p < .01). These data suggest that START holds promise in improving outcomes, for both the caregiver and service user, while reducing dependence on costly and restrictive hospital-based services.