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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2005 Apr;28(3):281-9.

Developing CASPAR: a computer-assisted system for patient assessment and referral.

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Treatment Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 600 Public Ledger Building, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3475, USA.


A study was completed on the use of a computer-based system that provided counselors with resources for client referrals to free or low-cost services within the community based on problems identified with an Addiction Severity Index (ASI) assessment. That study, completed in Philadelphia, found that in comparison with clients whose counselors received a standard ASI assessment training, clients whose counselors also received brief training on the simple, easy-to-use computer-based resource guide (RG) had treatment plans that were substantially better-matched to their presenting problems and received significantly more and better-matched services. Because of these favorable results, the current article presents further data on counselor use of the RG and, to facilitate the implementation of these procedures by others, we provide access to the original RG database, describe the steps necessary to develop, and maintain an RG, and provide training suggestions.

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