Reliability and Validity of the Time-Line Follow-Back Interview Among Psychiatric Outpatients: A Preliminary Report

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This study evaluated the temporal stability and concurrent validity of the time-line follow-back (TLFB) procedure among psychiatric outpatients. Test–retest stability (N = 17) was evaluated over both 30-day and 180-day intervals for frequency of drinking days and maximum daily quantity. Significant correlations (for drinkers only) were found for drinking frequency over 30 days and maximum daily quantity for both intervals. Comparison of 30-day drinking frequency from the TLFB and a comparable estimate from the Addiction Severity Index (N = 79) yielded a significant correlation across the entire sample (r = .65) and a slightly smaller correlation for the subset of drinkers (r = .50). This preliminary evidence suggests that the TLFB provides reliable estimates of drinking frequency and maximum quantity over a 30-day period and shows moderate association with another measure of monthly drinking frequency.

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