Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services (CBHRS) is a research office affiliated with the University of Alaska Anchorage. Our office is comprised of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students who provide evaluation and research services to federal, state and municipal government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private enterprises.

We pride ourselves in providing quality services in the following areas:

Consumer Satisfaction

We have significant expertise in helping service providers measure the satisfaction of their consumers. We have worked with substance abuse, mental health care, and psychiatric treatment providers and provide the following related services:

  • selection of satisfaction instruments
  • development of procedures for administration
  • creation of databases
  • data analysis
  • reporting of findings

We provide consumer satisfaction related services for providers serving all ages and backgrounds.

Data Management

CBHRS has extensive experience with data entry, data management, and data analysis.

We offer technical support with regard to all aspects of data management, including:

  • setting up safe and confidential data systems
  • creating data management programs
  • developing data-management-related policies and procedures.

We are experienced with several database programs, including Microsoft Access and Excel.

Focus Groups

As part of our extensive knowledge base related to qualitative work, we specialize in conducting focus groups for a variety of purposes.  We use focus groups to collect data about the following and other issues:

  • needs assessment
  • consumer satisfaction
  • employee satisfaction
  • instrument development
  • exploration of new areas of knowledge
  • gathering input about program changes
  • program evaluation

We assist with all aspects of focus groups, including:

  • developing focus group protocols
  • developing procedures
  • conducting focus groups
  • transcription
  • interpretation of findings
  • report writing

Grant Writing Support

CBHRS provides grant-writing support to any degree necessary.  We will:

  • prepare data reports based on existing data
  • perform literature searches
  • provide technical writing support
  • edit your document
  • assist with budget calculations

Our greatest expertise in assisting service providers write the sections of their grant proposals that deal with all aspects of program evaluation, including:

  • process evaluation
  • impact evaluation
  • outcome evaluation

Instrument Development

CBHRS will assist with instrument development in:

  • clinical settings
  • research settings
  • evaluation settings

Our expertise includes:

  • item development
  • pilot testing
  • psychometric analyses

We will assist with the creation of program policies and procedures to implement instruments in a streamlined and consistent manner that will help in collecting data for granting agencies or accreditation bodies.

Needs Assessment

We carry out large-scale and small-scale needs assessments. We have expertise with quantitative and qualitative needs assessment data collection. For example, we conduct:

  • surveys
  • key informant interviews
  • focus groups
  • chart reviews

Areas in which we do this work include:

  • mental health
  • substance abuse
  • criminal justice
  • related behavioral health fields

Program Evaluation

CBHRS designs program evaluations or implements previously planned program evaluations that need to be carried out by an independent evaluation service. 

We believe in:

  • Working with the people providing the services to determine what are possible and desirable outcomes of their work
  • Using responsive evaluation strategies that result in immediate feedback and have clear and immediate implications for the services we study
  • Developing several small rapid-yield studies that provide immediate formative input that can be used to make changes and improvements as needed
  • Using both qualitative (talking and process-oriented) and quantitative (numbers and outcome-oriented) approaches to our work
  • Using many sources of information to answer questions
  • Establishing several distinct criteria to define and measure success

We do this by:

  • Talking to lots of people who are involved in different aspects of the project we study
  • Respecting the knowledge and expertise of those who deliver services
  • Asking for stories and contexts
  • Requesting that service providers collect information from those they serve
  • Asking for data (numbers)

The steps we take to do evaluation are:

  • Identifying goals the evaluation can meet
  • Developing a plan for meeting these goals
  • Implementing the plan with the help of those providing the services we are studying
  • Double-checking that the plan is working
  • Fixing the plan if it does not work in the real world
  • Collating and organizing the information we received
  • Interpreting the information in terms of what it means for the services we study
  • Giving feedback to the service providers about what works well and how improvements can be made
  • Listening to the service providers after they received our feedback
  • Starting all over until all goals are met

Staff Satisfaction

CBHRS has extensive experience with assisting a variety of employers with the measurement of their employees' satisfaction with their work and work environment.  We provide an independent third-party assessment of employee satisfaction that overcomes employees' hesitations related to confidentiality concerns.  Our services in this area include:

  • selection of satisfaction instruments
  • development of procedures for administration
  • creation of databases
  • data analysis
  • reporting of findings

We also have experience with consulting with employers about recommended changes based upon the outcome of staff satisfaction assessments.

Staff Training

Our staff includes researchers and licensed mental health clinicians.  We can provide trainings on-site or in our training facilities.  As such, we provide a wide variety of training supports, including the following:

Clinical trainings on issues of:

  • comorbidity
  • cultural competence
  • children’s mental health issues
  • ethics
  • HIV
  • intake assessment

Data-related trainings for:

  • statistics
  • data management
  • computer-related topics

Statistical Consultation

Data analysis is one of our great strengths.  We will:

  • analyze existing data sets
  • write up data reports
  • provide statistical seminars
  • lend other data and statistical support

CBHRS can train employees to analyze existing data.  We are experienced with several statistical packages, including SAS and SPSS.

Our expertise extends to both quantitative and qualitative data.  Our qualitative data analysis skills can be used for information collected through focus groups and key informant interviews.


CBHRS offers a comprehensive array of professional services for the design, administration, and analysis of surveys. Combining sophisticated software with highly trained and experienced staff, CBHRS provides high-quality survey data collection procedures and data analyses that can accommodate simple to extremely complex sample designs.  CBHRS researchers work in close collaboration with clients to develop and implement surveys that are tailored to meet the client's specific objectives while taking into account the required precision and available budget.

CBHRS offers consulting and project management for all aspects of survey work.  These services may be offered independently or as part of an entire survey. Survey-related services include:

Questionnaire Development

With almost 20 years experience in questionnaire development, CBHRS can help assure that questionnaires meet the project objectives. We can help develop questionnaires, identify existing questionnaires, and modify current questionnaires to make them more culturally relevant and applicable to clients' needs.  When appropriate, CBHRS can conduct a pilot survey to insure the questionnaire's integrity and to minimize measurement error.

Survey Design and Sampling

CBHRS can offer advice on advantages and disadvantages of using a variety of sampling designs, such as the use of stratification, and can help with estimating the cost of surveys.  Appropriate sample size requirements, based on the study's precision requirements, can be calculated to provide statistically reliable estimates.

Data Collection

CBHRS utilizes state-of-the-art methods in mail and internet surveys that produce high response rates. Methods typically involve multiple contacts for each participant in the form of follow-up telephone calls, reminder postcards, or additional email communications.  CBHRS researchers are actively involved in researching methodologies that improve response rates in rural settings.

Data Analysis and Summary Reports

Statistical analyses are selected that are appropriate for the sampling design and survey objectives.  Analytical adjustments for non-response bias and statistical weighting can be applied to account for specific survey design features. Strict confidentiality is maintained for all respondents.  Summary reports detailing the survey procedures and results are provided for each survey.

Data Editing, Coding, and Entry

CBHRS relies on a data entry program that provides efficient and accurate data entry and re-key verification. Editing checks are completed on all data files to minimize data entry errors and data files are subjected to a variety of statistically-based tests to identify any anomalies within a given dataset.

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