The index of tobacco treatment quality: development of a tool to assess evidence-based treatment in a national sample of drug treatment facilities.

Document Type

Article, Non peer-reviewed

Publication Date



BACKGROUND: Quitting smoking improves health and drug use outcomes among people in treatment for substance abuse. The twofold purpose of this study is to describe tobacco treatment provision across a representative sample of U.S. facilities and to use these data to develop the brief Index of Tobacco Treatment Quality (ITTQ). METHODS: We constructed survey items based on current tobacco treatment guidelines, existing surveys, expert input, and qualitative research. We administered the survey to a stratified sample of 405 facility administrators selected from all 3,800 U.S. adult outpatient facilities listed in the SAMHSA Inventory of Substance Abuse Treatment Services. We constructed the ITTQ with a subset of 7 items that have the strongest clinical evidence for smoking cessation. RESULTS: Most facilities (87.7%) reported that a majority of their clients were asked if they smoke cigarettes. Nearly half of facilities (48.6%) reported that a majority of their smoking clients were advised to quit. Fewer (23.3%) reported that a majority of their smoking clients received tobacco treatment counseling and even fewer facilities (18.3%) reported a majority of their smoking clients were advised to use quit smoking medications. The median facility ITTQ score was 2.57 (on a scale of 1-5) and the ITTQ displayed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = .844). Moreover, the ITTQ had substantial test-retest reliability (.856), and ordinal confirmatory factor analysis found that our one-factor model for ITTQ fit the data very well with a CFI of 0.997 and an RMSEA of 0.042. CONCLUSIONS: The ITTQ is a brief and reliable tool for measuring tobacco treatment quality in substance abuse treatment facilities. Given the clear-cut room for improvement in tobacco treatment, the ITTQ could be an important tool for quality improvement by identifying service levels, facilitating goal setting, and measuring change.