179333 Racial/ethnic disparities in patterns and correlates of treatment completion from publicly funded outpatient substance abuse treatment programs

Monday, October 27, 2008: 10:48 AM

Mesfin S. Mulatu, PhD, MPH , National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, & TB Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Duane C. McBride, PhD , Behavioral Science Department, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Jamie F. Chriqui, PhD, MHS , Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: Successful recovery from substance abuse (SA) depends, in part, on completion of recommended treatment. This study examines racial/ethnic differences in rates and correlates of treatment completion among adults discharged from publicly funded SA programs.

Methods: Admission and discharge linked data from Treatment Episode Data Set (2001-2004) were used. Analytic sample consisted of adults discharged from outpatient SA treatment programs with valid data on variables of interest (N=542,623). Bivariate comparisons and logistic regressions were performed to examine racial/ethnic differences in: 1) completion rates before and after adjusting for demographic, socio-economic, and SA characteristics; and 2) correlates of treatment completion by estimating separate models for each group.

Results: Completion rates were significantly lower for African Americans (32.5%) and Hispanics (38.4%) compared to Whites (42.5%), both before and after adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and SA factors (p < .001). Differences in these covariates accounted for 32-40% of the differences in completion rates between minorities and Whites. Correlates of treatment completion were remarkably similar across groups. For all groups, completion rates were higher among men, older, married, more educated, employed, and privately insured patients, and were lower among patients who used drugs more frequently, used multiple drugs, had multiple prior admissions, and who inhaled or injected drugs. SA-related factors were stronger correlates of treatment completion than demographic or socio-economic factors.

Conclusions: There are large differences in rates of outpatient SA treatment completion between minorities and Whites in publicly funded programs. These disparities are only partially explained by demographic, socio-economic, and SA related differences.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the patterns of racial/ethnic difference in treatment completion among adults entering outpatient substance abuse treatment programs 2. Examine the correlates of racial/ethnic differences in treatment completion among adults entering outpatient substance abuse treatment programs 3. Discuss the policy implications of racial/ethnic disparities in patterns and correlates of completion of substance abuse treatment

Keywords: Substance Abuse Treatment, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the research idea, conducted the analysis, and wrote the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.