A brief measure for the assessment of coping self-efficacy among alcohol and other drug users

Addiction. 1999 May;94(5):723-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.1999.94572310.x.


Aims: To develop a reliable and valid brief measure of coping self-efficacy for substance users to serve the needs of clinicians and researchers who desire a global measure of a client's confidence across high-risk situations. The eight-item global measure of self-efficacy was derived from the Drug-Taking Confidence Questionnaire (DTCQ), a 50-item self-report measure of situation-specific coping self-efficacy applicable to alcohol and other drug users.

Design: The questionnaire was administered by trained staff to clients at intake to treatment. Items were selected using stepwise regression. Reliability and construct validity were assessed using alpha and correlation coefficients.

Setting: An addiction treatment facility in Toronto, Ontario.

Participants: Seven hundred and thirteen English-speaking adults presenting for treatment with an alcohol or other drug problem. The sample was comprised of alcohol (344), cocaine (253), heroin (53), cannabis (43), other drug (20) users.

Measurements: The DTCQ: perceived difficulty quitting, motivation to quit and confidence in quitting; depression score (SCL-90-R); and motivation scores (SOCRATES-revised).

Findings: An eight-item version (DTCQ-8) accounted for 95% of the variance in the total DTCQ-50 scores and correlated 0.97 with the total DTCQ-50 score. Reliability and validity for the DTCQ-8 as a global indicator of coping self-efficacy was confirmed.

Conclusions: Clinically, the DTCQ-8 is useful for the assessment and monitoring of confidence levels during treatment. The DTCQ-8 is a promising research tool for inclusion in outcome evaluation batteries that require a brief, reliable and valid measure of coping self-efficacy.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires