A new study by Castle Craig Hospital and Christo Research Systems has shown highly impressive outcomes for patients admitted to the renowned residential rehabilitation clinic in Scotland. The research supports the effectiveness of Castle Craig’s model of treatment for drug and alcohol addictions.
The study was commissioned by Castle Craig Netherlands B.V., and focuses on all patients from the Netherlands who entered Castle Craig between July 2011 and December 2012, and stayed in treatment for at least one day.
A total of 233 patients met these criteria, of which 158 patients were successfully contacted (70.9% of the sample, comprising of 130 males and 28 females). Most of these patients were addicted to alcohol, cocaine or cannabis and 75% completed the addiction treatment programme while the others left the treatment earlier. The average follow-up period was 55 weeks after discharge.
This particular study measures not only the severity of drinking or drug taking as an outcome, but also uses the Christo Inventory for Substance-misuse Services (CISS) (Christo, Spurrell, & Alcorn, 2000). (1)
The results from this study suggest that, of the 158 patients that were successfully followed up, 116 were totally abstinent (73.4%), 129 showed only low problem severity and are classed as a ‘good outcome’ (as defined by CISS as a score under 6; thus, 81.6% of the sample), and 145 showed any reduction in levels of dysfunction, as given by CISS score reduction (91.8% of the sample).
A score of under 6 is chosen as the boundary for a ‘good outcome’ or ‘low problem severity’ because Christo, Spurrell and Alcorn (2000) previously identified that a threshold of 6 or under correctly predicted 88% of outcomes for drug users assessed the month prior to follow-up. This reduction is valued as statistically significant, and in fact indicates an overall great increase in general functioning following treatment.
A secondary observation is that readmissions to Castle Craig following relapse, were significantly more likely to achieve good outcomes. This is a particularly notable finding because it supports the idea that longer lengths of stay may be beneficial, and that if a patient relapses further treatment is an effective option.
This study indicates Castle Craig’s credentials as consistent; a high quality rehabilitation hospital that is able to produce positive outcomes for a great number of patients. The study provides evidence of the effectiveness of Castle Craig’s treatment and demonstrates the long-term positive nature of the outcomes.
This study – and previous studies of Castle Craig – have followed-up patients more than one year after treatment – and consistently find complete abstinence in over 60% of cases. Therefore we can conclude that not only do a vast number of patients leaving Castle Craig show significant improvements in their quality of life, and drug and alcohol using habits, but that these changes continue for extended periods of time.
On the basis of this evidence Castle Craig’s patients are likely to maintain complete abstinence after one year and also show great reductions in the severity of comorbid physical and psychological health problems.
(1) The CISS is an outcome evaluation tool completed by drug / alcohol service workers either from direct client interviews, or from personal experience of their client, supplemented by existing assessment material. It is comprised of a ten item scale, in which each item is scored 0 (no severity), 1 (moderate severity), or 2 (severe severity), and covers problems such as social functioning, general health, criminal involvement, drug / alcohol use, psychological functioning, and on-going support. The minimum score is therefore 0, and the maximum is 20. The CISS is commonly used in Scotland (Effective Interventions Unit, 2001), and England and Wales (Audit Commission, 2002).