About The GAIN

The Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) Progressive Approach to Assessment

The Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) originated in 1993 as a collaborative effort between clinicians, researchers, and policymakers to create a comprehensive and standardized bio-psychosocial assessment tool. Dr. Michael Dennis, Senior Research Psychologist and Director of the Lighthouse Institute at Chestnut Health Systems, led this project through the development of the GAIN Initial (GAIN-I). His goal was to bridge the gap between clinical research and the growing movement toward evidence-based practice. Barbara Estrada is the Director of the GAIN Coordinating Center (GCC).

The GAIN has developed into a progressive and integrated family of instruments with a series of measures and computer applications designed to support a number of treatment practices, including:

  • Initial screenings (GAIN-SS)
  • Brief interventions and referrals (GAIN-Q3)
  • Standardized clinical assessments for diagnosis, placement, and treatment planning (GAIN-I, GAIN-Q4)
  • Monitoring change in clinical status, service utilization, and costs to society (GAIN-M90)
  • Subgroup and program-level needs assessment, evaluation, and secondary analysis

The GAIN family of instruments is appropriate for use with adolescents, young adults and adults from a variety of populations in various levels of care. Some of these include:

  • Outpatient/Intensive outpatient programs
  • Short-term/Long-term residential programs
  • Therapeutic communities
  • Justice programs
  • School-based programs
  • Welfare programs
  • Primary health care programs
  • Co-occurring disorder programs
  • Drug courts
  • Private practices
  • Child and family services

The GAIN also includes a workforce development model and suite of software to support its use.