Association Between Quality Measures and Perceptions of Care Among Patients With Substance Use Disorders

Published in: Psychiatric Services [Epub July 2017]. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201600484

Posted on RAND.org on August 04, 2017

by Kimberly A. Hepner, Susan M. Paddock, Katherine E. Watkins, Songthip Ounpraseuth, Amy M. Schrader, Teresa J. Hudson

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Objective

This study evaluated whether eight quality measures assessing care for patients with a substance use disorder were associated with patient perceptions of their care, including perceived improvement and global rating of behavioral health care.

Methods

Secondary data analyses were conducted of administrative and patient survey data collected as part of a national evaluation of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mental health and substance use services. Data for patients who received care for substance use disorders during October 2006–September 2007 paid for by the VHA and who participated in a telephone interview about their care (N=2,074) were included. Measures of patient perceptions of care included perceived improvement and global rating of behavioral health care. Eight quality measures based on administrative data assessed initiation and engagement in substance use disorder care, receipt of psychotherapy or psychosocial treatment, and follow-up after hospitalization. Regression models were conducted in which each quality measure predicted each outcome, with analyses adjusting for patient characteristics and functioning.

Results

Treatment engagement, two measures of psychotherapy receipt, and psychosocial treatment were significantly associated with perceived improvement, whereas treatment initiation and follow-up after hospitalization (seven and 30 days) were not. Psychotherapy receipt and follow-up after hospitalization (seven and 30 days) were significantly associated with global rating of behavioral health care.

Conclusions

Some quality measures assessing care for substance use disorders were significantly associated with patient perceptions of care. Results provide additional support for these quality measures and suggest that patient perceptions of care are an important outcome in assessing care.

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