Assessing the Helping Alliance and Its Impact in the Treatment of Opiate Dependence
Published in: Drug and Alcohol Dependence, v. 48, no. 1, Oct. 1997, p. 51-59
Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1997
This study assesses the relationship between the patient-counselor helping alliance (HA) and progress in methadone maintenance treatment. Questionnaire measures of HA were administered to 57 patients 1 and 3 months after admission. Three-month HA measures (especially counselors' ratings) predicted reductions in drug use as measured by weekly urinalysis results and 6-month self-report data. HA was unrelated to treatment retention or improvement in psychiatric symptomatology. Moreover, controlling for urinalysis results in the previous month rendered insignificant the correlations between 3-month HA and subsequent drug use. Thus, this evaluation of the HA's unique contribution to the prediction of outcome suggests that the development of a positive HA may be more a marker of treatment progress than a necessary precursor of positive outcomes in the methadone maintenance treatment setting.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.