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Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
Articles

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

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Abstract

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.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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