Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Patient and program factors that bridge the detoxification-treatment gap: a structured evidence review.

Timko C, Below M, Schultz NR, Brief D, Cucciare MA. Patient and program factors that bridge the detoxification-treatment gap: a structured evidence review. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2015 May 1; 52:31-9.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Although completion of detoxification (detox) and a successful transition from detox to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and/or mutual-help groups are associated with better SUD outcomes, many patients do not complete detox or do not receive SUD care following detox. The purpose of this structured evidence review, summarizing data extraction on a yield of 26 articles, is to identify patient, program, and system factors associated with the outcomes of completion of alcohol detox and successful transitions from alcohol detox to SUD treatment and mutual-help group participation. The review found wide variability among studies in the rates at which patients complete a detox episode (45 to 95%) and enter SUD treatment or mutual-help groups after detox (14 to 92%). Within program factors, behavioral practices that contribute to both detox completion and transitioning to SUD care after detox entail involving the patient's family and utilizing motivational-based approaches. Such practices should be targeted at younger patients, who are less likely to complete detox. Although more studies using a randomized controlled trial design are needed, the evidence suggests that barriers to detox completion and transition to SUD care can be overcome to improve patient outcomes.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.