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National Treatment Center Study
Reports Presentations Info for Participants Links SOC 3860 AHSR 2007

Therapeutic Communities: Management and Performance

Therapeutic communities have shown great promise for producing significant behavioral changes and successful "habilitation" of substance abusers and addicts (DeLeon, 2000). In order to understand how therapeutic communities are differentially successful, a focus upon their organization and management is critical. Several aspects of therapeutic community management appear to be problematic in maximizing the effectiveness of these organizations. These include recruitment of clients, retention of clients, maintaining organizational funding, and characteristics of those in management and leadership positions. We are working on a longitudinal study of organizational features and managerial practices in a nationally representative sample of therapeutic communities, excluding those based in prisons or other correctional settings. The initial part of the study centered on the definition of the therapeutic community, using the established measures of the Essential Elements Questionnaires. The primary goal of the study was to discern the predictors of different patterns of organizational performance, stability and change in this sample of therapeutic communities as these organizations cope with the turbulent environment of substance abuse treatment. Using a representative national sample of programs that self-identified as therapeutic communities (N=450), this study collected longitudinal data on: organizational structure, organizational/therapeutic culture, organizational management and human resources, treatment services, clinical process, external environment and organizational performance.

Principal Investigator: Paul M. Roman
Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Funding Period: September 2001 - July 2006

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