Concurrent and predictive validity of the Substance Dependence Severity Scale (SDSS)

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2000 Apr 1;59(1):77-88. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(99)00110-6.


This study investigated the concurrent and predictive validity of the Substance Dependence Severity Scale (SDSS), a clinician-administered interview designed to assess the severity and frequency of DSM-IV dependence symptoms for a range of substances. A total of 172 (107 males and 66 females) treated substance users participated in the study. Of those, 89% (n=153) received at least one follow-up interview within 1-6 months of an initial assessment. For alcohol, cocaine and heroin, convergent and discriminant validity was supported by significant relationships between SDSS scores at baseline and other baseline measures of substance use consequences, such as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), as well as significant relationships between SDSS change scores from baseline to follow-up and change scores of other measures of consequences. SDSS scores were significantly associated with time to first post treatment use of alcohol, cocaine and heroin, although the nature of the associations was complex. Scale applications and areas for further study are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / classification
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / classification
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heroin Dependence / classification
  • Heroin Dependence / diagnosis*
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission
  • Prognosis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Treatment Outcome