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MOBC for Addiction

Kevin Hallgren, PhD

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington

Measurement-based care is common for most types of health care.  For example, patients with diabetes typically undergo routine blood testing, and the results tell health care providers and patients how well a treatment is working.  However, there is no similar system for routinely evaluating progress and response to treatment for patients with substance use disorders.  


Computers can be used to routinely assess patient improvements in substance use disorder symptoms.  Computerized brief questionnaires can be administered routinely (e.g., after checking in for treatment appointments) and can provide instantaneous, standardized measures of treatment progress.


Findings: Many patients in treatment for substance use have substantial improvements in mental health, physical health, and quality of life.  This is particularly true for patients who abstain from alcohol or drugs, but improvements are also common for patients who are not totally abstinent but still reduce their alcohol or drug use.  For some patients, this improvement comes very gradually, while for others the change is more immediate.  Reductions in alcohol and drug use typically lead to long-standing improvements in self-efficacy (i.e., greater confidence in ability to not drink or use drugs) and long-standing reductions in craving (i.e., fewer urges to use).   


This work is supported by a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Mentored Research Scientist Development Award, K01AA024796

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