A systematic review of the methodologies used in research related to adult drug and alcohol rehabilitation in therapeutic communities published 2000-2013

Perryman, Cassandra and Dingle, Genevieve (2015) A systematic review of the methodologies used in research related to adult drug and alcohol rehabilitation in therapeutic communities published 2000-2013. Therapeutic Communities, 36 4: 193-208. doi:10.1108/TC-09-2014-0029


Author Perryman, Cassandra
Dingle, Genevieve
Title A systematic review of the methodologies used in research related to adult drug and alcohol rehabilitation in therapeutic communities published 2000-2013
Journal name Therapeutic Communities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0964-1866
2052-4730
Publication date 2015-12-14
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1108/TC-09-2014-0029
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 36
Issue 4
Start page 193
End page 208
Total pages 16
Place of publication Bingley, United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to summarize research conducted in long-term residential rehabilitation centers, including therapeutic communities (TCs), in order to further clarify the effectiveness of this treatment approach and to evaluate the quality of TC research conducted in the period 2000-2013.

Design/methodology/approach
– The composite search engine UQ database Summon were used to find articles with “Therapeutic Community” as title words, and the search was limited to adult participants, peer-reviewed articles, published between January 2000 and June 2013 in the English language. The review was conducted using Cochrane Collaboration methods and reported under the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses guidelines.

Findings
– In total, 25 studies met inclusion criteria for the review and represented data from n=5,923 participants in the USA, Australia, Spain, England, and Belgium. Evidence supports the TC approach for a diverse range of individuals who misuse a range of substances. Several studies reported a relationship between retention and outcomes however dropout from treatment is a widespread issue. A paucity of research using multiple time points precludes any firm conclusions regarding the optimal length of treatment in a TC. There is a lack of research on the interplay between individual and community-level factors on client well-being, retention, and longer term outcomes.

Research limitations/implications
– This review highlights the need for TC research that includes multiple time points and follow-up assessments, and measures of change in theoretically meaningful constructs alongside standard measures of demographics, substance use, and psychiatric symptoms.

Practical implications
– The reporting format of TC research should be better standardized in order to create a better basis for research comparison. More standardized reporting would also allow for effect size analysis, and create a more efficacious evidence base.

Originality/value
– This updates the systematic review body of research.
Keyword Comorbidity
Substance use disorders
Therapeutic communities
Treatment outcomes
Treatment retention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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