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Length of stay as a predictor of reliable change in psychological recovery and well being following residential substance abuse treatment

Brie Turner (Department of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Frank Patrick Deane (School of Psychology, Illawarra Institute for Mental Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

ISSN: 0964-1866

Article publication date: 12 September 2016

327

Abstract

Purpose

Longer length of stay (LOS) in residential alcohol and other drug treatment has been associated with more favourable outcomes, but the optimal duration has yet to be determined for reliable change indices. Optimal durations are likely to be a function of participant and problem characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether LOS in a residential therapeutic community for alcohol and other drug treatment community independently predicts reliable change across a range of psychological recovery and well-being measures.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 380 clients from Australian Salvation Army residential alcohol and other drug treatment facilities were assessed at intake and three months post-discharge using the Addiction Severity Index 5th ed., The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, The Recovery Assessment Scale, the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form and The Life Engagement Test.

Findings

The findings confirm LOS as an independent predictor of reliable change on measures of well-being and client perceived assessment of recovery. The mean LOS that differentiated reliable change from no improvement was 37.37 days.

Originality/value

The finding of LOS as a predictor of reliable change and the identification of an estimated time requirement may be useful for residential drug treatment providers in modifying treatment durations.

Keywords

Citation

Turner, B. and Deane, F.P. (2016), "Length of stay as a predictor of reliable change in psychological recovery and well being following residential substance abuse treatment", Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 112-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/TC-09-2015-0022

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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