Reliability and Validity of the Substance Abuse Outcomes Module

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ObjectiveThe study sought to determine the validity and reliability of the Substance Abuse Outcomes Module (SAOM), a self-report tool designed to assess patient characteristics, process of care, and outcomes of care, using a minimum amount of information, in order to improve treatment.MethodsA longitudinal field test (baseline and three-month follow-up) compared the SAOM to seven other research instruments in the assessment of 100 substance-abusing patients who were entering a new treatment episode. Quota samples of patients were drawn from two private inpatient substance abuse treatment facilities and an outpatient methadone clinic. The study's primary outcome measures were diagnostic accuracy, internal and test-retest reliability of key constructs, concurrent and predictive validity, and sensitivity to change. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were calculated to examine internal consistency and reliability. Intraclass correlation coefficients and kappa coefficients were used to examine test-retest reliability. Concurrent validity of outcomes measures was examined with Pearson or Spearman correlation coefficients and chi square and kappa statistics. Changes between baseline and follow-up were examined as a function of case-mix measures with ordinary least-squares multiple regression. Sensitivity to change was examined by calculating effect size scores.ResultsThe SAOM had high internal consistency and a high level of agreement with research diagnoses at baseline and follow-up. The SAOM was found to be highly reliable, to have very strong validity, and to be sensitive to clinical change.ConclusionsThe SAOM appears to be a reasonably reliable and valid self-report instrument when used to monitor substance abuse treatment among patients with a primary substance use diagnosis.

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