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J Subst Abuse Treat. 1998 Sep-Oct;15(5):385-91.

Self-efficacy and substance abuse: assessment using a brief phone interview.

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  • 1Department of Evaluation and Research, University of Texas-Houston, USA.


Considerable research has shown that one's self-efficacy to avoid cigarette smoking and alcohol use increases during treatment and that high self-efficacy ratings at follow-up are associated with positive outcome. The present study extends existing research in two ways. First, self-efficacy was assessed among a predominantly crack-cocaine-using population during treatment and 1 month following treatment. Second, the viability of a brief self-efficacy measure (4 item) was assessed using a phone interview. Results from 186 patients (61% reporting crack-cocaine) interviewed following treatment showed that self-efficacy increased during treatment and was higher for patients reporting abstinence I month after treatment. The results from the brief self-efficacy assessment were comparable to an established version of the self-efficacy measure. These findings suggest that (a) self-efficacy may be related to the maintenance of abstinence from cocaine and other substances of abuse, and (b) self-efficacy can be measured quickly and reliably through a phone interview.

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