Gender-Sensitive Procedures in Substance Abuse Treatment: Associated Costs and Effectiveness
Degree awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University
Gender-sensitive (GS) treatment refers to specific practices that are thought to make drug treatment more helpful for women, such as parent training or trauma-focused therapy. The implementation of these practices is seen as important due to the unique challenges women face in substance abuse treatment. The current investigation examines 13 mixed-gender, intensive inpatient programs (IIPs) that varied in gender sensitivity. The costs of gender-sensitive treatment, including monetary and non-monetary resources invested, were determined. Ratios and graphical analyses compared the resources contributed by patients and providers to the outcome variable at both individual and programmatic levels. The outcome variable of interest is the number of days to treatment re-entry, assuming that more treatment-free days after discharge from IIP treatment is a positive result. It was expected that programs with greater gender sensitivity will require more patient and provider resources, while also providing more effective treatment, as measured by women's treatment re-entry. Results indicated that gender-sensitive treatment does cost more, but is no differences were indicated in effectiveness or cost-effectiveness. However, the cost of providing gender-sensitive treatment services is minimal, with median values ranging from $1.25 and $2.99 per treatment-free day. With improvements to outcome measurement and an increased sample, further research on the cost-effectiveness of gender-sensitive treatment may arrive at different conclusions.
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