In-Treatment Changes in Quality of Life-Related Variables in Therapeutic Communities for Cocaine Abusers: Are These Changes Associated with Clinical Outcomes?

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Background: Few studies have explored changes in quality of life during the first three months of admission to a therapeutic community for addictions. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between these changes and treatment outcomes at discharge. Methods: We undertook a prospective longitudinal study of 142 cocaine-dependent patients treated at a therapeutics community. All of these patients reached the 3-month evaluation and were subsequently followed until discharge. All participants completed the following measures: Health-Related Quality of Life for Drug Abusers Test; Beck Depression Inventory; State–Trait Anxiety Inventory; Opiate Treatment Index; Dual Diagnosis and Discharge Checklist. Results: At the 3-month assessment, scores on the Health-Related Quality of Life for Drug Abusers Test had increased significantly (Cohen’s d: 0.92), while scores on the Opiate Treatment Index (Cohen’s d: 0.86) and Beck Depression Inventory (Cohen’s d: 0.20) scales both decreased significantly. A higher proportion of the patients considered to have achieved “clinically relevant” treatment outcomes at discharge versus those without clinically relevant outcomes were considered “recovered” according to the Reliable Change Index. Conclusions: An improvement in quality of life-related variables from baseline to the 3-month assessment was associated with better outcomes at discharge from the therapeutic community. The findings of this study may help us to optimise therapeutic interventions.
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