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Factors associated with early discharge among chronically addicted males in a halfway house setting: An exploratory study

Justine Marie Uselding, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Chronic addicts enter long-term residential treatment programs called halfway houses, receive treatment, and at some point either complete treatment or terminate (Smart, Gray, Finley, & Carpen, 1978). Premature termination of services is viewed as a negative outcome, because generally these individuals are placed in such settings for valid clinical reasons (Hitchcock, Stainback & Roque, 1995). Subjects are difficult to track post-treatment largely due to homelessness and unemployment. Therefore, little is known about the patterns of changes in the patient that may be associated with positive outcome. The empirical research findings in this area are sparse, and the findings themselves appear divergent in how they define outcome. Generally, it appears that premature discharge is associated with a variety of negative outcomes. ^ This study investigated factors associated with early attrition among adult residents of a halfway house for chemically dependent men, using operationally-defined outcome variables as well as empirically sound measures from Project MATCH. This multi-site study compiled baseline data regarding involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous, the severity of alcohol dependence, social support, religious background and beliefs, and change readiness (DelBoca & Brown, 1996). It was anticipated that the MATCH measures would accurately identify those who discharged prematurely, and that these subjects would demonstrate poorer scores on these measures. However, no clear pattern emerged from these data. ^ Recommendations for future research included the following: focusing on factors peculiar to chronically addicted persons, such as loss of social support and health deterioration, which may more directly affect the client's behavior in treatment; measuring other variables mentioned in the literature, such as person perception, cognitive rigidity, and help-acceptance; and including a finer-graded measure of dual diagnosis that might underlie chronic addiction, as well as more accurate record-keeping in this area. The study concludes that perhaps measuring outcomes of single-episode treatment is inadequate, and that what is needed are longitudinal studies and a more defined theoretical basis in order to better describe discharge factors in this population. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Uselding, Justine Marie, "Factors associated with early discharge among chronically addicted males in a halfway house setting: An exploratory study" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3004626.