Counseling Research Consortium Identifies, Establishes Collaborative University Research Initiatives

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The first meeting of the Counseling Research Consortium (CRC) was held on June 10th and 11th at the Blackwell Inn on The Ohio State University Campus. In attendance were representatives from six partner universities: George Washington University; Kent State University, Seattle University, The Ohio State University; University of Central Florida; and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The utilization of these technologies in a collaborative research context will greatly increase the probability of securing significant research funding through federal and private sources.

The first meeting of the Counseling Research Consortium (CRC) was held on June 10 and 11 at the Blackwell Inn on The Ohio State University Campus. In attendance were representatives from six partner universities: George Washington University; Kent State University, Seattle University; The Ohio State University; University of Central Florida; and the University of Texas at San Antonio. The purpose of the CRC is to identify and establish collaborative research initiatives. The CRC partners will function as a unified research entity when submitting extramural research funding applications.

Benefits of this cooperative approach include: increased sample size, improved sample diversity, consultative expertise, and an ability to conduct multi-site clinical trail methodologies. The collaborative power of the CRC will enable the conduct of counseling research on a national scale that currently no individual institution has been able to achieve. Via this new unified effort of partner universities the CRC will mount a research endeavor that mirrors the current National Institute of Mental Health agenda, as outlined in the current report by the National Advisory Mental Health Council’s Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Workgroup (2006).

To address the needs for standardized multi-site data collection and reporting, CRC partners have agreed to create C.O.R.E. (Common Outcomes Research Endeavor). C.O.R.E. will first define a “fixed” set of common research variables that each partner will longitudinally collect in clinical training labs. Secondly, a “rotating” set of research variables for specific projects will be gathered. For example: client demographics and diagnostic information will be standardized and part of the fixed C.O.R.E. data set. Project partners can specify a variable such as “couples’ interaction patterns” that might then become a part of the “rotating” C.O.R.E. data. This structure enables the development of a large longitudinal data collection effort, along with the needed flexibility to respond to individual research interests and external funding priorities.

To facilitate this unprecedented collaborative research approach within professional counseling, the CRC will deploy two cutting edge technologies. These technologies have previously been utilized only within medical research. The first technology is the use of a digital video and data encoding system. This system provides the capability to analyze and capture data from counseling interactions at levels previously impossible to define, segment and rapidly sequence through analog video systems. CRC also will also employ a web mediated patient record system. This second technology will allow seamless C.O.R.E. data exchange by providing a common technology platform.

While attending the meeting, Dr. William Loadman, Associate Dean for Research of the College of Education & Human Ecology at The Ohio State University commented: “The utilization of these technologies in a collaborative research context will greatly increase the probability of securing significant research funding through federal and private sources.” Dr. Loadman’s enthusiasm regarding the collaborative research possibilities and potential extramural funding directly resulting from these collaboratively utilized technologies was echoed by all in attendance.

Based upon a previous needs assessment conducted by Dr. Paul Granello related to necessary technologies required for CRC intersite data generation and analysis, Mr. Jerry Salandro, representing Landro Play Analyzer, was invited to speak. Landro is a playback analysis system which allows counselors to access a student, patient or instructors’ video recording session randomly and instantly. University Professors expect this to have a major impact on research and teaching. Mr. Greg Horn, President & Director of Deployment of Athena Software also spoke. The two presentations provided first-hand observation of how both technologies could be jointly utilized to enhance data gathering and reporting functions in an easily transferable format that could then be analyzed by commonly used statistical systems such as SPSS or SAS. Participants agreed to seek potential funding sources necessary to secure the first stage of the needed technologies no later than May 2007 with the goal of securing both types of technology as quickly as financially possible.

The next CRC meeting was scheduled for September 8-9. This meeting date coincides with the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference and will occur on the campus of The University of Central Florida. Pending final approval and support by campus administrators and officials, the third CRC meeting was tentatively scheduled to occur sometime in January of 2007 on the campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

The intent of these meetings is to identify viable research projects of interest to the CRC. Of specific interest to the CRC are multi-site clinical trail projects that could serve as catalysts to the first strand in a larger, multi-year research agenda specific to professional counseling efficacy, supervision, and training.

For more information about Landro playback analysis systems, or to have Mr. Salandro speak at your next event please contact:

Robert Firment

Landro playback analysis

1-800-354-4747, ext. 712

http://www.landro.com

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Robert Firment
IRIS Technologies
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