Design strengths and issues of SAMHSA's Women, Co-occurring Disorders, and Violence Study.

Policy Research Associates, Inc., in Delmar, New York 12054, USA.
Psychiatric Services (Impact Factor: 1.99). 11/2005; 56(10):1233-6. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In 1998 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration launched the Women, Co-occurring Disorders, and Violence Study (WCDVS). The WCDVS developed, implemented, and evaluated the outcomes and costs of comprehensive, trauma-informed treatment programs for women with a history of violence and trauma who have substance use and mental health disorders. This article discusses the overall design features of the study, issues related to such a design, results of the outcomes and cost evaluations, and suggestions for future research. The nine WCDVS sites were located across the continental United States, with six sites on the East Coast, two on the West Coast, and one in Colorado. A total of 2,729 women (1,415 in the intervention condition and 1,314 in the comparison condition) were enrolled over the 13.5-month baseline accrual period (January 2001 through February 2002). Follow-up interviews were conducted with all participants at three, six, nine and 12 months post-baseline. Women in the intervention and the comparison groups showed improvement in outcomes in four areas: alcohol use, drug use, mental health, and trauma. At six months women in the intervention group scored modestly better than women in the usual-care group for outcome measures for drug use, trauma, and mental health. At 12 months women in the intervention group maintained their improvement in drug use outcomes and continued to improve in mental health and trauma outcomes. After a start-up period, costs for services were not significantly different between the intervention and comparison groups at both follow-up points. Despite their very modest nature, the WCDVS results are promising.

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