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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2010 May;36(3):140-9. doi: 10.3109/00952991003736363.

Time to Relapse Questionnaire (TRQ): a measure of sudden relapse in substance dependence.

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  • 1UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Psychiatry, Dallas, Texas 75390-8564, USA.



Relapse may occur suddenly, following a short period of craving, or after extended consideration. The time to relapse may reveal underlying mechanisms of relapse and have important implications for treatment.


The Time to Relapse Questionnaire (TRQ), a self-administered questionnaire, was designed to assess the time from the initial thought of drug use to actual use.


Psychometric properties of the TRQ were evaluated in two distinct populations (n = 183 and 194) with DSM-IV primary substance use disorders.


Factor analysis and item refinement led to a 9-item TRQ with a three-factor solution accounting for 63% of the total variance. Three discrete types of relapse style were identified: Sudden Relapse, Short Delay Relapse, and Long Delay Relapse. The TRQ demonstrated good construct validity and adequate internal consistency for the total (alpha = .61) and individual factor (alpha = .64-.75) scores. Measures to assess convergent validity of the TRQ suggest that Sudden Relapse may not reflect more generalized deficits of inhibitory control.


The TRQ may provide a useful self-report measure to discriminate between addicted patients who relapse without forewarning compared to those with a period of delay. Clinical interventions may be targeted towards different relapse styles.

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