Predictors of follow-up health status in the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS)

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Alcoholism; Chronic Disease; Cohort Studies; Comorbidity; Female; *Health Status; Humans; Linear Models; Longitudinal Studies; Male; Mental Disorders; Middle Aged; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); *Street Drugs; Substance-Related Disorders; United States


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


This study examined the predictors of self-reported health status at follow-up in the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcomes Study (DATOS), a longitudinal study of drug abuse treatment programs and patients in 1991-1993. Baseline and follow-up interviews of 2966 patients in 75 programs were performed. The follow-up assessment was targeted to occur 12 months after treatment terminated; long-term methadone patients in treatment for the entire 12-month period were interviewed 24 months after intake. A composite measure, developed through principal component analysis, assessed health status. A multivariate hierarchical linear regression model adjusted for identified independent baseline predictors of health status at follow-up. Poor physical health status (including the composite measure, comorbid conditions and pain) and greater severity of psychiatric symptoms at baseline were the strongest predictors of poor health status at follow-up. Other predictors of worse health status included older age, public insurance coverage and unemployment. We conclude that baseline health status and psychiatric symptoms predict the subsequent health status of patients in substance abuse treatment patients as in other clinical populations. Future research should examine whether early identification and treatment of physical and mental health problems among patients in addiction treatment programs might remediate their adverse effects on long-term health status outcomes.


Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003 Apr 1;69(3):243-51.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Drug and alcohol dependence

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Link to Article in PubMed

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