Document Detail

Racial disparities in completion rates from publicly funded alcohol treatment: economic resources explain more than demographics and addiction severity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17362217     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: To assess racial and ethnic differences in rates of completion from publicly funded alcohol treatment programs, and to estimate the extent to which any identified racial differences in completion rates are related to differences in patient characteristics.
DATA SOURCES: Administrative intake and discharge records from all publicly funded outpatient and residential alcohol treatment recovery programs in Los Angeles County (LAC) during 1998-2000. Study participants (N=10,591) are African American, Hispanic, and white patients discharged from these programs, ages 18 or older, who reported alcohol as their primary substance abuse problem.
STUDY DESIGN: Bivariate tests identified racial and ethnic differences in rates of treatment completion and patient characteristics. Logistic regression models assessed the contribution of differences in patient characteristics to differences in completion.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Significantly lower completion rates by African Americans (17.5 percent) relative to whites (26.7 percent) (odds ratio [OR]=0.58, 95 percent confidence interval [CI]: 0.50-0.68) are partially explained (40 percent) by differences in patient characteristics in outpatient care (adjusted OR=0.75, 95 percent CI: 0.63-0.90), mostly by indicators of economic resources (i.e., employment, homelessness, and Medi-Cal beneficiary). In residential care, only 7 percent of differences in completion (30.7 versus 46.1 percent) could be explained by the patient-level measures available (OR=0.52, 95 percent CI: 0.45-0.59; AOR=0.55, 95 percent CI: 0.47-0.65). Differences in completion rates between Hispanic and white patients were not detected.
CONCLUSIONS: Large differences in rates of outpatient and residential alcohol treatment completion between African American and white patients at publicly funded programs in LAC, the nation's second largest, publicly funded alcohol and drug treatment system, are partially because of economic differences among patients, but remain largely unexplained. These racial disparities merit additional investigation and the attention of health professionals.
Jerry O Jacobson; Paul L Robinson; Ricky N Bluthenthal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health services research     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0017-9124     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Serv Res     Publication Date:  2007 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-03-16     Completed Date:  2007-05-11     Revised Date:  2013-06-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0053006     Medline TA:  Health Serv Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  773-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
Strategic Information Unit, Global AIDS Program, Central America and Panama, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Universidad del Valle, 18 Av. 11-37, VH III, Edificio GAP, Zona 15, CP 01015, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.
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MeSH Terms
African Americans / statistics & numerical data
Age Factors
Alcoholism / ethnology*,  therapy*
Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
Financing, Government*
Health Services Accessibility
Health Services Research
Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
Length of Stay
Middle Aged
Patient Compliance*
Residential Facilities / organization & administration
Severity of Illness Index
Sex Factors
Grant Support
1P20MD000182-01/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS; G12-RR-03026-18/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; R21 AA013813/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS; R21AA013813/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS

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