What is the Butler Center for Research?

Through clinical and institutional research, scientists and other staff members at the Butler Center for Research ask the questions that lead to increasingly effective methods of addressing addiction, from prevention to treatment to lifelong recovery.

As the field of substance abuse treatment shifts more and more focus toward the importance of patient outcomes and evidence-based practices, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation relies on our very own Butler Center for Research to ensure that our programs are data-driven and effective. Additionally, the Butler Center for Research engages in research studies that drive the field of addiction treatment forward, identifying possible trends and patterns that may contribute to future best practices for clinical professionals both within and external to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

The presence of an internal scientific research department is something that is very unique to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and the Butler Center for Research's critical role often generates many questions: What is the Butler Center for Research? What exactly do they do? Who are the people who work there?

What is the Butler Center for Research?

In 1974, Hazelden (later the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation) created the Continuation Center—a hub for research, literature, and administration located on our Center City campus. The Continuation Center was renamed the Butler Center for Research in 1977. The vision of the Butler Center for Research is to support sustained recovery from the disease of addiction for all who seek help by way of advancements in knowledge and integration of research of addiction treatment into practice.

Since its inception, the Butler Center for Research has been dedicated to improving recovery by conducting clinical and institutional research, collaborating with other research centers, and communicating scientific findings both internally and publicly. The Butler Center for Research is extremely unique, as few addiction treatment providers have the internal resources and infrastructure required to not only keep up-to-date with current scientific literature, but also to conduct scientific research, manage institutional data operations, assess patient treatment outcomes, and report relevant scientific information (and recommendations for implementation) to clinical staff.

What does the Butler Center for Research do?

The Butler Center for Research is able to support the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the greater community of individuals in recovery through a number of projects, roles, and services that we conduct on an ongoing basis.

Scientific Research
Perhaps the most critical role of the Butler Center for Research is to conduct ongoing scientific research that can be used to not only continuously improve the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation clinical services and programs but also to inform the field of addiction and recovery as a whole. This research is completed through numerous projects that are designed and implemented by Butler Center for Research staff and collaborators, and findings are reported in scientific journals and institutional reports throughout the year.

In 2016, the Butler Center for Research and its collaborators published three scientific articles:
  • "The feasibility of implementing a pay-for-performance program in the treatment of alcohol/drug addiction: Implementation and initial results" 1
  • "The prevalence of substance use and other mental health concerns among American attorneys" 2
  • "The role of spirituality in treatment outcomes following a residential twelve step program" 3

The Butler Center for Research has also published several advanced statistical internal reports for Hazelden Betty Ford program leaders that offer advanced insight into data trends and provide empirical recommendations for ongoing program improvement and effectiveness.

Data-Driven Decisions
In addition to more advanced scientific reports of Hazelden Betty Ford programs, the Butler Center for Research is often employed to evaluate and interpret program metrics in an attempt to assist leadership with data-driven decisions. Using administrative data or custom-designed surveys, Butler Center for Research staff have developed numerous data summaries for program customers throughout the Foundation that provide a snapshot of program performance, and allow leaders to meet their goals through the use of empirical evidence.

Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Outcomes
The Butler Center for Research is a one-stop shop for the collection, review, and analysis of Hazelden Betty Ford patient outcomes. Butler Center for Research staff administer outcomes surveys to patients from select programs 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after they discharge.

Outcomes cover a broad array of topics, including continued care, abstinence from alcohol and drugs, medication compliance, and quality of life. These outcomes are used to evaluate Hazelden Betty Ford program effectiveness, in addition to assessing patterns in data to see if certain programs or services benefit people in different ways.

Currently, the Butler Center for Research tracks patient outcomes for those who discharge from our Center City and Plymouth Residential programs, and we will be adding patient outcomes for the Chicago Intensive Outpatient and Rancho Mirage (Betty Ford Center) Residential programs in 2017.

Who are the people who work in the Butler Center for Research?

The Butler Center for Research is a multidisciplinary team of professionals who come together in order to provide critical information to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and our external consumers.

Need to contact the Butler Center for Research? Email us, or call 1-651-213-4200.