Measuring economic outcomes of alcohol treatment using the Economic Form 90
OBJECTIVE: This article assesses the ability of the economic outcome measures in the Economic Form 90 to detect differences across levels of alcohol dependence as measured by the Alcohol Dependence Scale. METHOD: We used baseline data from the Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions (COMBINE) Study, a large, multisite clinical trial, to assess the extent to which the economic items on the Economic Form 90 instrument can detect differences across levels of alcohol dependence. RESULTS: After adjusting for differences in demographic characteristics, the Economic Form 90 can detect significant differences across a range of dependence severity levels for the economic outcomes of inpatient medical care, emergency-department medical care, behavioral health care, being on parole or probation, and missed workdays, conditional on being employed. We did not detect significant differences across dependence severity for employment status, outpatient medical care, other criminal justice involvement, or motor vehicle accidents. CONCLUSIONS: The Economic Form 90 can identify differences in many economic outcomes associated with differing levels of alcohol dependence. This suggests that the Economic Form 90 may be useful in assessing changes in economic outcomes that result from changes in alcohol dependence.