National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study: Variation in Treatment Outcomes

Variation in Treatment Outcomes

The NTIES study employed sophisticated research techniques to explore whether specific patient characteristics, or the characteristics of the treatment units, could explain variations in pre/post treatment outcomes. It found that drug and alcohol use, criminal activity, and employment outcomes were measurably better among individuals who completed their treatment plans, received more intensive treatment and were treated longer. However, the study also found these treatment factors and other patient characteristics such as gender, age, legal pressures to enter treatment, and the severity of all problems at admission, explained relatively small proportions of overall variations in outcome, ranging from a low of 5 percent for psychiatric outcomes to a high of 19 percent of variation for medical outcomes, with treatment unit characteristics explaining even less outcome variation.

Source: http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/govstudy/f027/treat.aspx

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