Tailoring substance abuse treatment to women often leads to better outcomes. Previous evidence, however, suggests limited availability of such options.
This investigation sought to depict recent changes in outpatient substance abuse treatment (OSAT) tailoring to women and to identify unit and contextual factors associated with these practices.
Data were from 2 waves of a national OSAT unit survey (N = 618 in 1995, N = 566 in 2005). Comparisons of weighted means between waves indicate which practices changed over time. Multiple logistic regressions with generalized estimating equations test associations between unit and contextual attributes and tailoring to women.
Tailoring to women was measured as availability of prenatal care, child care, single sex therapy, and same sex therapists, and the percentage of staff trained to meet female clients’ needs.
Two measures of tailoring to women declined significantly between 1995 and 2005: availability of single sex therapy (from 66% to 44% of units) and percent of staff trained to work with women (from 42% to 32% of units). No aspect of tailoring to women became more common. Proportion of female clients, total number of clients, methadone status, and private and government managed care were associated with higher odds of tailoring to women. For-profit facilities, which became more prevalent during the study period, had lower odds than other units of tailoring treatment to women.
Some key aspects of OSAT tailoring to women decreased significantly in the last decade. Managed care contracts may offer 1 mechanism for counteracting these trends.