Review Process

The Bureau for Behavioral Health Clearinghouse utilizes a thorough review process to ensure each program/practice submitted to the Clearinghouse receives a rating commensurate with standards established by the Clearinghouse.  After receiving specialized training, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Graduate Assistants (GAs) work together to review existing research and determine ratings for those programs and practices reviewed. GAs utilize academic electronic libraries, program websites and other clearinghouses to obtain pertinent research related to the program/practice. GAs prioritize research conducted in the last 5-10 years.  In cases where it seems necessary or appropriate, GAs receive approval from SMEs to utilize older research. Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses are prioritized over other research, but quasi-experimental, pre-test/post-test, retrospective chart review and case studies can be reviewed if RCTs and meta-analyses are unavailable. GAs complete and send summaries of each research article reviewed to the SMEs, and then together they assign a rating for the program/practice. 

Graduate Assistant (GA)

The role of the GA is to identify and review research literature regarding specific behavioral health programs/practices. Together, with the SME, the GA will determine the research rating of each assigned practice and/or program. GAs are required to currently be participating in a graduate program and complete training provided by the Clearinghouse.  GA responsibilities include:

  • Identify and review research literature in accordance with the standards established by the Clearinghouse.
  • Provide summaries to the SME.
  • Meet virtually or in-person with the SME to discuss and determine rating. 

Subject Matter Expert (SME)

The role of the SME is to review research literature collected by the GA regarding specific behavioral health programs/practices. SMEs are required to have terminal degrees in their area of expertise, have training in research and have expertise in clinical training areas.  SME responsibilities include:

  • Review summaries of research provided by the GA.
  • Provide support to GA when challenges arise.
  • Meet virtually or in-person with the GA to discuss and determine rating.

Research Review Training

Subject Matter Experts and Graduate Assistants are required to complete a thorough, 6-hour training in order to participate in research reviews.  Training topics include: review terms, types of studies, evaluation of research and overview of the Clearinghouse purpose and processes.  Participants can complete the training at their own pace and upon completion are eligible to be assigned programs/practices to review.