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Evaluation of a new monitoring system and SUD patients' outcomes

Tiet Q, Finney J, Byrnes H, Tregor G, Liu L, Kuang S, Strumolo A. Evaluation of a new monitoring system and SUD patients' outcomes. Paper presented at: American Psychological Association Annual Convention; 2004 Jul 2; Honolulu, HI.


Objectives: The current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outcomes monitoring system for substance use disorder (SUD) patients is costly and provides unrepresentative outcome data due to low (19%-20%) follow-up rates achieved by clinical staff. The goal of this study was (1) to test a more efficient outcomes monitoring system that would increase follow-up rates and produce more representative outcome data and (2) to report VA SUD patients' outcomes. Methods: Fifty-five VA SUD treatment programs were randomly selected across the country, and up to 50 new patients were randomly selected at each program. A brief, self-report version of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), which provides composite scores on 7 domains of functioning, was administered to patients at baseline and at 6-month follow-up. Results: For the first annual cycle, the OMP collected baseline ASI data on 1,990 VA SUD patients, and achieved a follow-up rate of 67%. The majority of the VA SUD patients indicated abstinence from both alcohol and illicit drugs for the month prior to follow-up. Conclusion: Our follow-up of the initial cohort of patients suggests the OMP approach can obtain representative follow-up data, and data showed effectiveness of VA SUD treatment. Lessons learned from the OMP can inform other large monitoring systems.

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