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The brief treatment outcome measure: detoxification, rehabilitation and counselling manual

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Author: P. Lawrinson, S. Gerber, J. Copeland, D. Indig

Resource Type: Technical Reports

NDARC Technical Report No. 165 (2003)


A brief, multidimensional instrument has been designed to monitor treatment outcomes for alcohol and other drug (AOD) clients. A core instrument is applicable for use with all treatment types and drug classes with four treatment specific modules for opioid maintenance pharmacotherapy, detoxification, rehabilitation and counselling treatment types. The Brief Treatment Outcome Measure (BTOM) standardises data collection from these treatment types to provide data on service utilisation, client population profiles, treatment needs, the types of treatment delivered and outcomes achieved. It also serves as a tool for use in treatment evaluation research.

Treatment outcome is measured by scales developed or adapted from other instruments across the domains of dependence, blood borne virus exposure risk, drug use, health, psychological functioning and social functioning.

The BTOM is typically administered at the commencement of treatment (or intervention, in the case of a research study) and at follow-up or review intervals of no less than 3 months. It takes approximately 15 minutes to administer and can be easily scored by the clinician or researcher. The domains included within the BTOM are intended both to enable evaluation and monitoring across services and to inform the clinical management of individual clients.

A psychometric and clinical evaluation of the BTOM in opioid maintenance pharmacotherapy services has been previously published. This report outlines the psychometric properties and clinical trialling of the BTOM in detoxification, counselling and rehabilitation services Results from the 12-month clinical trial and a psychometric evaluation study indicate that the BTOM has good reliability, acceptable validity and is capable of measuring change in treatment outcome. An examination of the feasibility of following up clients who have left treatment is presented. Findings from a survey of clinicians using the BTOM indicate that clinicians in general approve of the BTOM content and find the instrument to be clinically useful.

Citation: Lawrinson, P., Gerber, S., Copeland, J. and Indig, D. (2003) The brief treatment outcome measure: detoxification, rehabilitation and counselling manual, Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.