Assessing the Generalizability of the CSAT-sponsored GAIN Dataset

Are the CSAT Sites Representative of Adolescent Treatment Programs in the U.S.?

Published In: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, v. 46, no. 2, Feb. 2014, p. 238-243

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013

by Sarah B. Hunter, Beth Ann Griffin, Marika Booth, Rajeev Ramchand, Daniel F. McCaffrey

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The CSAT-sponsored GAIN dataset represents one of the largest longitudinal datasets of adolescent substance use treatment currently available. Understanding the characteristics of the included treatment programs is needed to help inform whether the data are generalizable to adolescent treatment more broadly. Data from a national sample of adolescent treatment programs were compared to the CSAT-funded programs to assess generalizability and understand trends over time in quality service provision. The results indicated that CSAT-funded programs had higher rates of comprehensive mental health assessments, discharge planning, HIV, STD and TB testing, and HIV/AIDS education and support. Conversely, CSAT and non-CSAT-funded programs had similar rates of comprehensive substance use screening and assessment, family and aftercare counseling, drug and alcohol urine screening, case management support, and licensing. The results also showed that service provision has not changed much over the past decade and is in critical need of improvement to reflect expert-informed quality standards.

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