Automated monitoring of outcomes: application to treatment of drug abuse.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This paper suggests a new approach for lowering follow-up costs, improving the delivery of health care, and monitoring treatment outcomes. An automated telephone follow-up system that calls, identifies, and interviews clients is an alternative method for monitoring patients that may be both reliable and cost-effective. To test the viability of such a system, the authors monitored a patient population that has historically been shown to be difficult to follow: recovering drug users and alcoholics. Forty-two subjects were asked to call the computer and complete interviews on a weekly basis for five months. Clients answered 25 recorded questions by pressing the keys on their telephone pads. The computer automatically analyzed the clients' answers and estimated a probability of relapse for each client. In addition, the computer automatically called subjects who failed to complete interviews at the scheduled times. The study showed that self-reported data collected by a computer are as reliable as data obtained through a written questionnaire and that clients are more willing to respond to computer interviews than to mailed written questionnaires. This study also provides preliminary data on the predictive ability of a questionnaire for predicting relapse.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Alemi, F; Stephens, R; Parran, T; Llorens, S; Bhatt, P; Ghadiri, A; Eisenstein, E

Published Date

  • April 1, 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 180 - 187

PubMed ID

  • 8028471

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0272-989X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0272989X9401400211


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States