Performance measures for outpatient substance abuse services: Group versus individual counseling

Lee Panas, Yael Caspi, Elizabeth Fournier, Dennis McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Most substance abuse treatment programs employ various models of group therapy. Empirical evidence, however, of the benefits of group vs. individual treatment is scarce. This study examined the impact of type of treatment, defined as individual or group counseling, on treatment performance, as measured by treatment completion and goal achievement. Data on clients treated in publicly funded substance abuse outpatient treatment programs were drawn from the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information System. A larger proportion of group to individual therapy was strongly and positively associated with increased likelihood for improved measures of treatment performance. State data systems can provide useful insights into the development and application of performance measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (P50 DA10233) supported the data analysis and manuscript preparation. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services provided access to its patient database. The authors would also like to acknowledge their colleagues Cathleen Wheeler and Tom Clark for their valuable comments and suggestions in the development of the manuscript.


  • Administrative database
  • Group counseling
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Substance abuse
  • Treatment performance measures


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