Funding: NIAAA R21 AA016578
The research aims to develop, and provide preliminary validity data for, a new scale of treatment readiness. The proposed scale is theoretically grounded in Aizen’s theory of planned behavior, a powerful, parsimonious model that has been widely applied in public health. The TPB offers a strong history of empirical support and tightly specified relations between the intention to pursue treatment and predictors of that intention. In Phase One, the study will develop a preliminary readiness scale via reviewing the available literature, consultation with an expert panel, and pilot work with 20 clients recruited from intake appointments at an outpatient substance abuse treatment site in Contra Costa County, CA. The scale will address all four components of the TPB (i.e., attitudes, subjective norms, perceived control, and intentions). In Phase Two, the preliminary scale will be computer-administered to a new cohort of 200 clients recruited from the same site. Respondents will also complete measures of stage of change; problem severity and consequences; social influence variables; and demographic variables. Treatment utilization for 6 months following the interview will be collected from program records. Data will be analyzed to refine the scale and establish the scale’s psychometric properties, concurrent validity, and predictive validity. By developing a new readiness scale, the project aims to clarify the sources of treatment readiness, suggesting points of intervention for increasing treatment initiation and retention. The study will also develop a screening instrument useful for identifying (and intervening with) individuals low on treatment readiness at intake.