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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2007 Dec;33(4):363-71. Epub 2007 May 14.

A feasibility study of a web-based performance improvement system for substance abuse treatment providers.

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Alkermes Inc., Boston, MA, USA.


We report here on the feasibility of implementing a semiautomated performance improvement system-Patient Feedback (PF)-that enables real-time monitoring of patient ratings of therapeutic alliance, treatment satisfaction, and drug/alcohol use in outpatient substance abuse treatment clinics. The study was conducted in six clinics within the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network. It involved a total of 39 clinicians and 6 clinic supervisors. Throughout the course of the study (consisting of five phases: training period [4 weeks], baseline [4 weeks], intervention [12 weeks], postintervention assessment [4 weeks], sustainability [1 year]), there was an overall collection rate of 75.5% of the clinic patient census. In general, the clinicians in these clinics had very positive treatment satisfaction and alliance ratings throughout the study. However, one clinic had worse drug use scores at baseline than other participating clinics and showed a decrease in self-reported drug use at postintervention. Although the implementation of the PF system proved to be feasible in actual clinical settings, further modifications of the PF system are needed to enhance any potential clinical usefulness.

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