Online Program

Comparing Outcomes from an Online Substance Abuse Treatment Program and Residential Treatment Programs for Consumers who are Deaf: A Pilot Study

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Debra Guthmann, Ed.D., Wright State University, Debra Guthmann Ed.D. Consultant, Kettering, OH
Jared Embree, MA, Department of Community Health, Wright State University, Kettering, OH
Susan Fraker, AAS, BA, CI & CT, NAD IV, Substance Abuse Resources and Disability Issues Program, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Kettering, OH
Amanda Rose, BA, Wright State University, Kettering, OH
Josephine Wilson, DDS, PhD, Substance Abuse Resources and Disability Issues (SARDI), Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Kettering, OH
Numerous barriers exist when attempting to provide culturally appropriate substance use disorder (SUD) treatment to persons who are Deaf. As with other low-incidence disabilities, Deaf consumers have traditionally been disenfranchised from local substance abuse programs or found culturally and linguistically accessible treatment lacking. To address these barriers, the Deaf Off Drugs & Alcohol (DODA) Program provides accessible cessation and recovery support services via a telemedicine program to Deaf individuals who are clinically diagnosed with a SUD. This study (n=95) was conducted to assess whether an online SUD treatment program is an effective way to serve the Deaf population.  Effectiveness was analyzed using five outcome measures: the Substance Abuse Screener in American Sign Language, Addiction Severity Index, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and Beck Depression Inventory. These measures were administered prior to SUD treatment and six months after SUD treatment began.  The intake and follow-up scores were compared between Deaf individuals enrolled in the online DODA program (n=8) and Deaf individuals receiving SUD services in specialized residential treatment settings (n=87). Significant differences between intake and 6-month follow-up scores for all five outcome measures were found for both the online and residential treatment programs.  In contrast, no significant differences were observed between outcome measures for the online and residential treatment programs. This suggests that the online treatment program may be as effective as the residential treatment programs, and that such programs hold particular promise for improving treatment accessibility for persons with low-incidence disabilities.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of accessible online alternatives to tradition SUD treatment. Discuss substance abuse prevalence in the Deaf population and the importance of culturally and linguistically appropriate accommodations.

Keyword(s): Disabilities, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked within the Deaf community for over 35 years in education, medical, and social service settings. I was the founding director of the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals and has developed a number of written and visual materials focusing on substance abuse within the Deaf community. I have published numerous articles and book chapters related to substance abuse and dual relationships within the Deaf community.
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.