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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2007 Jan;32(1):27-39. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Does gender-specific substance abuse treatment for women promote continuity of care?

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  • 1Missouri Institute of Mental Health, University of Missouri School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63139, USA.


Research has stressed the value of providing specialized services to women and suggests the importance of treatment duration. This quasi-experimental retrospective study reports on the continuity of care for women with children who were admitted to long-term residential substance abuse treatment. Women were admitted to 7 agencies offering specialized, women's only treatment (SP, n = 747) or to 9 agencies that provided standard mixed-gender treatment (ST, n = 823). Client and treatment data were gathered from administrative sources. We hypothesized that women in specialized treatment would demonstrate higher continuing care rates after controlling for treatment completion and length of stay. Women in SP programs (37%) were more likely than those in ST programs (14%) to continue care. Multivariate analyses revealed that SP clients who completed treatment with longer stays were most likely to continue care. The findings show that specialized treatment for women promotes continuing care and demonstrate the importance of treatment completion.

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