Substance Abuse Self-Help Group Referral: Outcomes and Services Use
Substance Use Disorders
Behavioral: Intensive referral to 12-step self-help groups
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Substance Abuse Self-Help Group Referral: Outcome and Services Use|
- DRUG USE AND ALCOHOL USE AT 6 MONTHS AND 1 YEAR
- SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES USE AT 6 MONTHS AND 1 YEAR
|Study Start Date:||January 2003|
|Study Completion Date:||April 2005|
Self-help groups (SHGs) have become an important component of the system of care for patients with substance use disorders (SUDs). SUD patients' participation in SHGs has been linked to lower relapse rates and less use of additional treatment services.
The first objective was to implement and validate procedures to help counselors make effective referrals to SHGs for SUD patients. This project randomly assigned SUD outpatients to a standard referral or an intensive referral condition. We are determining the extent to which intensive referral increased patients' SHG attendance and involvement in comparison to standard referral. The second objective is to determine whether patients who received intensive referral to SHGs have better substance use and functioning outcomes over the 1-year follow-up period, and less use of formal treatment services, thereby reducing costs for VA, than those who received standard referral. The long-term goal is to develop and implement guidelines to facilitate SUD patients' participation in SHGs and thereby improve their quality of life and decrease their use of VA's specialized SUD treatment services.
This project used a randomized design in which 345 patients entering VA outpatient SUD treatment were randomly assigned to either standard or intensive referral to SHGs. Standard referral consisted of the counselor recommending SHG participation. The keys to intensive referral included the counselor facilitating direct contact between the patient and a member of the SHG, and counselor follow-up on the recommendation for self-help. Patients were followed at 6 months and 1 year to determine whether intensive referral resulted in more self-help attendance and involvement; in better substance use and functioning outcomes (using the Addiction Severity Index); and in less use of VA services and lower treatment costs (using methods of the VA Health Economics Resource Center). To make these determinations, we are conducting analyses at each follow-up, and then will use hierarchical linear modeling to examine the benefits of intensive referral over time.
Project work is ongoing.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00105729
|United States, California|
|VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA|
|Palo Alto, California, United States, 94304-1290|
|Principal Investigator:||Christine Timko, PhD||VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA|