RCI validated as effective measurement tool

Photo of an intake form being filled out


Published June 25, 2018

Historically, sobriety has been the only measure of wellness for individuals recovering from addiction.

Face It TOGETHER looks at many individualized metrics, including use or non-use, to make sure our clients are getting well. The Recovery Capital Index (RCI) includes three domains and 22 components in areas covering personal, social and cultural capital.

Last year the RCI was externally validated as a comprehensive instrument to measure an individual’s addiction wellness. The May 2018 issue of South Dakota Medicine features the research behind that validation, which verifies the RCI as an accurate indicator of addiction health.

“Validation of the RCI shows us how dependable the instrument is in measuring recovery capital. Publishing this work in a peer-reviewed journal increases the credibility of Face It TOGETHER’s work,” said Kristen Goettsch, Face It TOGETHER’s senior evaluation scientist. “This publication is a monumental step as we continue to advance knowledge about addiction and make our work easily accessible by others working to solve the disease.”

Face It TOGETHER developed the RCI in 2013 to provide more extensive information about changes in the wellbeing of those impacted by addiction, including loved ones.

“A person’s use or non-use of a substance is a behavior, not the root of the disease itself,” Goettsch said. “The journey to wellness should be focused on more than sobriety – we need to be able to address, and to measure the change of, the deeply-imbedded behaviors that lead to various risk factors.”

Face It TOGETHER and Sanford Research started developing the concept of RCI validation in late 2016. Goettsch said she was pleasantly surprised to see that the research showed a direct correlation between a person’s employment level and overall RCI score.

“It makes sense – our employment can give us a sense of purpose or worth and is needed for us to fulfill our most basic life needs,” she said. “This supports the research that recovery capital is just as important, if not more important, than the use or non-use of a substance when it comes to the person’s road to wellness.”

Face It TOGETHER is a data-driven organization committed to delivering personalized, effective coaching for those impacted by addiction.

As part of that commitment, Goettsch is currently working with Sanford Research to build a predictive model. The project will allow the development of personalized addiction management plans based on clients’ characteristics and behaviors.

“This model will use information collected through our RCI and our other assessments, and will give us some idea of a client’s probability of being successful on their wellness journey with our peer recovery coaches,” Goettsch said.

Learn more about our results and commitment to innovation here.

More stories