Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)

Friday, January 18, 2008: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
Diplomat Ballroom (Omni Shoreham)
[H/D] Racial/Ethnic Differences in Organizational and Service Characteristics in Substance Abuse Treatment
Symposium Organizer:Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD, University of Chicago
Racial/Ethnic Differences in Substance Abuse Treatment Experience: Blacks, Latinos, Whites
Erick Guerrero, MA, Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD
Racial/Ethnic-Specific Gender Differences in the Impact of Substance Abuse Treatment
Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD, Dingcai Cao, PhD
Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Impact of Matched Services in Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment
Dingcai Cao, PhD, Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD
Abstract Text:
For nearly two decades, services research on substance abuse treatment has focused on the development of effective substance abuse treatment services. While much has been learned about effective services and service delivery strategies, little research has focused on racial and ethnic differences in problem severity, service utilization or impact. Of the research that has been done, most compares Black and Whites; almost no research characterizes the experience of Latinos in the U.S. substance abuse service system. The limited research that is available indicates that compared to Whites and Blacks, Latinos (1) are less likely to seek and complete treatment; (2) receive fewer services; and, (3) are less satisfied with the treatment overall. One of the reasons for this lack of focus on race and ethnicity has been the paucity of large-scale data sets. Few studies contain large Latino subsamples. Further, many of the large epidemiological surveys that do exist mask the heterogeneity found in use and impact patterns of all racial/ethnic subgroups. Although there is broad agreement about the need for culturally competent services, their development will require empirical research that begins to identify treatment approaches and service delivery strategies of value for different groups. Research that takes account of the interaction of race and gender is also needed.

This symposium brings together analyses of racial/ethnic differences from a large, national prospective study of substance abuse treatment programs in the U.S., the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES). NTIES is one of a small number of large-scale, observational follow-up studies that have been developed in the U.S. to estimate substance abuse treatment effects. Among follow-up studies, NTIES is known for its prospective design, it high client response rate and its multiple measures of outcome. Although follow-up studies are less rigorous than randomized clinical trials for testing treatment effectiveness per se, they can be very useful for the analysis and comparison of service delivery strategies among client subgroups. Thus, NTIES is a very useful data set for examining issues addressed in this symposium: (1) the different experiences of racial/ethnic subgroups in substance abuse treatment including experiences of service utilization and impact; and (2) the treatment experiences of racial/ethnic-specific gender groups. Each symposium participant will incorporate the following three questions into their presentation:

1. What are differences among Black, Latino and White groups in terms of the treatment organizations where they are served and the services they receive? 2. What are differences among Black, Latino and White groups in the impact of substance abuse treatment? 3. What are the primary considerations for implementing programs seeking to provide effective services for these groups?

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See more of Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)