Holistic system of care: evidence of effectiveness

Subst Use Misuse. 2011;46(11):1420-30. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.592438.


The Native American Health Center provides substance use and mental health services for urban American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIs/ANs) utilizing a culturally based holistic system of care (HSOC). Substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services emphasize traditional AI/AN healing practices alongside evidence-based practices. This article describes the HSOC approach and provides preliminary findings from an outcome evaluation. Participants in outpatient and residential treatment were interviewed at baseline and 6-month follow-up with a standardized assessment tool (n = 490). The sample we composed of 86% AI/AN, 70% females, 30% males, and was entirely urban. Decreases in substance use and its related consequences were evident in both modalities but were most pronounced in residential treatment. Study's limitations and implications are included.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome