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UTILITY OF THE TIME-LINE FOLLOW-BACK TO ASSESS SUBSTANCE USE AMONG HOMELESS ADULTS

SACKS, JO ANN Y. Ph.D.1; DRAKE, ROBERT E. M.D., Ph.D.2; WILLIAMS, VALERIE F. M.A., M.S.3; BANKS, STEVEN M. Ph.D.4; HERRELL, JAMES M. Ph.D., M.P.H.5

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: March 2003 - Volume 191 - Issue 3 - pp 145-153
Articles

Assessing substance use of homeless persons is a critical task. This study examines the test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, and sensitivity to change of the Time-Line Follow-Back interview, a calendar instrument used to assess days and quantities of alcohol use and days of illicit drug use, in the multisite Collaborative Program to Prevent Homelessness (CPPH). The Time-Line Follow-Back was reliable for assessing use during the past month and the recent 6 months. Results from the Time-Line Follow-Back were correlated with other self-reports of use, with research diagnoses of substance use disorder, and with clinician ratings of severity of substance abuse. The Time-Line Follow-Back detected changes in clients with severe mental illness and in those with less severe psychiatric problems.

1 National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI), 71 West 23 Street-Fl. 8, New York, New York 10010. Send reprint requests to Dr. Sacks.

2 New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

3 Policy Research Associates, Inc., Delmar, New York.

4 University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.

5 Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Rockville, Maryland.

Supported by grants #1 UD9 SM51803-02, 1 UD9 SM51965-01, G5B749; 1 UD9 SM51966-01; 1 UD9 SM51969-01/02, 1 UD9 SM51970-01, 1 UD9 SM51953-01; and contract number 280-94-0008 from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funding agency.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.