Satisfaction with substance use treatment and 12-step groups predicts outcomes

Matthew S. Kendra*, Kenneth R. Weingardt, Michael A. Cucciare, Christine Timko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: Satisfaction is a critical component of patient-centered care, yet little is known about the degree to which patient satisfaction is linked to subsequent outcomes, especially in substance use disorder (SUD) treatments and 12-step groups. The current study assessed the degree to which satisfaction with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient SUD treatment and with 12-step groups, both measured at 6 months after treatment initiation, was associated with additional treatment utilization and better substance-related outcomes during the next 6 months, that is, up to 1 year after treatment initiation. Methods: Participants were 345 patients entering the VA SUD treatment program. Results: More satisfaction with treatment and with 12-step groups at 6 months was associated with less alcohol use severity and more abstinence at 1 year. More treatment satisfaction was related to less subsequent medical severity, whereas more 12-step group satisfaction was related to less subsequent psychiatric severity. More 12-step group satisfaction was related to subsequent increases in 12-step group attendance and involvement. A single item assessing overall satisfaction appeared best related to subsequent outcomes. Conclusions: Satisfied SUD treatment patients and 12-step mutual help members appeared to have better subsequent service utilization patterns and treatment outcomes. SUD treatments can improve outcomes by monitoring and enhancing patient satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • 12-step mutual-help
  • Patient-centered care
  • Satisfaction
  • Substance use
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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