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Assessing referrals for pharmacotherapy: A comparison of therapist and client report
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The primary goal of this study was to assess whether therapist self-reported use of referrals for pharmacotherapy with clients for the treatment of substance abuse disorders is consistent with actual rates of referrals experienced by clients. Participants were 20 substance abuse counselors and 120 clients at a large, multisite substance abuse treatment center. Therapists were asked to complete a brief measure of their current use of referrals for pharmacotherapy, including agonist and antagonist approaches. Clients were asked to complete a brief measure indicating whether their individual counselor had discussed with them a referral for medication. Counselor reports were linked to their individual clients and compared for validation. Results indicate that therapist self-report is significantly correlated with client report of referrals for pharmacotherapy. These results indicate that although therapist self-report of adherence to more involved treatment approaches is often unreliable, substance abuse counselors are able to reliably report their use of referrals. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.