Selection and utilization of assessment instruments in substance abuse treatment trials: the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network experience
Carmen Rosa, Udi Ghitza, Betty Tai
Center for the Clinical Trials Network, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD, USA
Abstract: Based on recommendations from a US Institute of Medicine report, the National Institute on Drug Abuse established the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) in 1999, to accelerate the translation of science-based addiction treatment research into community-based practice, and to improve the quality of addiction treatment, using science as the vehicle. One of the CTN's primary tasks is to serve as a platform to forge bi-directional communications and collaborations between providers and scientists, to enhance the relevance of research, which generates empirical results that impact practice. Among many obstacles in moving research into real-world settings, this commentary mainly describes challenges and iterative experiences in regard to how the CTN develops its research protocols, with focus on how the CTN study teams select and utilize assessment instruments, which can reasonably balance the interests of both research scientists and practicing providers when applied in CTN trials. This commentary also discusses the process by which the CTN further selects a core set of common assessment instruments that may be applied across all trials, to allow easier cross-study analyses of comparable data.
Keywords: addiction, assessment, drug abuse treatment, drug dependence, NIDA Clinical Trials Network, substance use disorder
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