Development of the treatment outcomes profile

John Marsden, Michael Farrell, Colin Bradbury, Annette Dale-Perera, Brian Eastwood, Malcolm Roxburgh, Steve Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Aim To develop the Treatment Outcomes Profile (TOP), a new instrument for monitoring substance misuse treatment. 

Design Prospective cohort, psychometric evaluation with 7-day retest and 1-month follow-up to assess inter-rater reliability, concurrent, discriminant and construct validity, and change sensitivity. 

Participants A sample of 1021 service users, aged 16-62 years. Recruitment from 63 treatment agencies in England, collectively providing opioid substitution treatment, psychosocial interventions, in-patient detoxification and residential rehabilitation. 

Measurements Thirty-eight frequency, rating scale and period prevalence measures, with 28-day recall, across substance use, health, crime and social functioning domains, administered as personal interview by 163 treatment keyworkers. Findings Twenty outcome measures met inter-rater reliability criteria: days used alcohol, opioids, crack cocaine, cocaine powder, amphetamines, cannabis and one other named substance; days injected and period prevalence of direct or indirect needle/syringe sharing; subjective rating of physical and psychological health; days committed shop theft and drug selling, period prevalence of vehicle, property, fraud/forgery and assault/violence offences; rating of quality of life; days worked and attended for education/training; and period prevalence of acute housing problems and risk of eviction. Intraclass correlation coefficients for scale measures and Cohen's kappa for dichotomous measures reached or exceeded 0.75 and 0.61, respectively. There were satisfactory validity assessments and change sensitivity of scale items judged by effect size and smallest detectable difference. The TOP clinical tool contains an additional 10 items for individual treatment planning and review. 

Conclusions The TOP is a reliable and valid 20-item instrument for treatment outcomes monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1450-1460
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Early online date17 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


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