Evidenced-Based Research

Deschutes Wilderness Therapy is involved in several long-term research projects. NVW pre-tests and post-tests all students on both Youth Outcomes Questionnaire Self-Report 2.0 (Y-OQ) and HeartMath EmWave PC stress scans.

Deschutes Wilderness Therapy Y-OQ and OQ Data Report

Deschutes Wilderness Therapy has facilitated incredible clinical change for adolescent and young adult students from enrollment to graduation.  In order to identify clinical change, therapeutic programs utilize Youth Outcome Questionnaires (Y-OQ) and Outcome Questionnaires (OQ) to highlight significant risk factors in substance abuse and mental health.  The community norm is 46.  In order for data to be clinically significant, results for the Y-OQ must change by 18 points or more.

The Y-OQ focuses on six areas of functioning for adolescents covering how they feel inside, how they get along with significant others, how they cope with stress physically and behaviorally, and how they complete life tasks. Deschutes Wilderness Therapy’s adolescent results show a decrease (improvement) of 24 points from enrollment to graduation, indicating that on average, NVW students are demonstrating clinically significant improvement after participation. Parent or guardian results show a decrease (improvement) of 60 points from enrollment to graduation. Even after graduating from DWT, adolescents continue to show consistently lower risk factors close to the community norm.

Young adult programming is specific to our Deschutes program.  The OQ-45.2 is completed by young adults  analyzing three area of functioning on how the young adult feels inside, how they get along with significant others, and how they feel doing important life tasks. Young adult results show a decrease (improvement) of 33 points from enrollment to graduation demonstrating significant clinical change and this change remains one year later.

Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council

Over the last 20 years, research in wilderness therapy (often referred to as Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare, or OBH) has grown considerably in numbers and professionalism. While a number of programs and institutions have contributed to this promising research base, the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC), formed in 1997, has been a driving force for research and evaluation. Deschutes Wilderness Therapy joined the OBH Council in 2013.  In August of 2016, New Vision - Wisconsin also became a member of the council.

The OBH Council works with Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative (OBHRC), whose purpose is to carry out comprehensive independent research and provide credible, objective information to the field. OBHRC has grown to include 12 full and affiliate research scientists with over 200 studies conducted in the field about the behavioral healthcare.