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Research - Clubhouse International

We develop and enhance research approaches to measure Clubhouse member outcomes and the effectiveness of our Clubhouse Model.

There is significant research available that substantiates the effectiveness of the Clubhouse Model and the added benefits provided by Accreditation.

To enhance accessibility to this research, utilize our NEW comprehensive report and editable slide deck: Transforming Lives: Clubhouse Impact Report.  Click here to access this new research tool for advocacy

In addition, and since 2000, our research efforts have been coordinated and carried out by the Program for Clubhouse Research, an affiliation between Clubhouse International and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). See the research highlights below, or click here to view all the recent Clubhouse research.

Research Highlights

Effectiveness of the Clubhouse Model

Pathways Clubhouse, the Richmond location of the Canadian Mental Health Association, participated in an independent review of the value created from funding and donations received. The study found that Pathways yields $14 in societal value for every $1 received. Fourteen to One!

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The Clubhouse experience has been proven to result in positive outcomes for many members, including:

  • Better employment rates, 42% at Accredited Clubhouses annually – double the average rate for people in the public mental health system, plus longer on-the-job tenure for members engaging in Clubhouse Transitional Employment.1
  • Cost effectiveness, one year of holistic recovery services are delivered to Clubhouse members for the same cost as a 2-week stay at a psychiatric hospital. The cost of Clubhouses estimated to be one-third of the cost of the IPS model; about half the annual costs of Community Mental Health Centers; and substantially less than the ACT model. 2
  • A significant decrease in hospitalizations as a result of membership in a Clubhouse program.3
  • Reduced incarcerations, with criminal justice system involvement substantially diminished during and after Clubhouse psycho-social program membership.4
  • Improved Well-Being compared with individuals receiving psychiatric services without Clubhouse membership. Clubhouse members were significantly more likely to report that they had close friendships and someone they could rely on when they needed help.5
  • Better physical and mental health: a recent study suggests that service systems like Clubhouses that offer ongoing social supports enhance mental and physical health by reducing disconnectedness.6

Sources: 1 Macias, Kinney and Rodican (1995). 2 McKay, Yates, and Johnsen (2005); IPS model reported by Clark et al (1998); ACT model reported by Macias et al (2001). 3 De Masso, Avi-Itzak and Obler (2001). 4 Johnson and Hickey (1999). 5 Warner, Huxley and Berg (1999). 6 Leff and colleagues (2004).

Clubhouse International Accreditation™ Makes a Difference

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration built on their inclusion of Clubhouses as a recognized evidence-based practice by including comparative information demonstrating the value of Accredited Clubhouses versus non-Accredited Clubhouses in their 2013 publication Behavioral Health, United States, 2012.

Reach out (home or hospital visits)
Supported employment
Social activities: recreational, sports, and/or cultural
Low-priced meals
Help finding housing
Transitional employment
Wellness, nutrition, or health promotion activities
Independent employment
Help with obtaining entitlements (e.g., disability insurance)
Links to physical health care/dental care
Linkage to colleges and universities
Political advocacy, board positions, legislative testimony

Table displays selected data reproduced from Table 114 on page 236 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2013). Behavioral Health, United States, 2012. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4797. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The source of the data is the International Survey of Clubhouses, 2011, Clubhouse International.

About the Program for Clubhouse Research

The Program for Clubhouse Research (PCR) was created in January 2000 through an affiliation between the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and Clubhouse International. The PCR is located in the Center for Mental Health Services Research within the Department of Psychiatry at the UMMS. Its purpose is to develop and support an international research agenda and to increase the quality and quantity of research on the Clubhouse Model of Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

The Program for Clubhouse Research coordinates, promotes, and conducts Clubhouse research projects that are congruent with Clubhouse philosophy. In addition, it evaluates the effectiveness of Clubhouses and/or describes the services that Clubhouses provide for their members.

The Program for Clubhouse Research also acts as a clearinghouse for Clubhouse research with the capacity to provide effective communication, dissemination of information and assistance to Clubhouses and researchers considering participation in Clubhouse research projects.

For additional information, click here to visit the PCR’s web page.

If you have questions regarding Clubhouse research, please contact:

Colleen McKay, Director
Program for Clubhouse Research
University of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-8471

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