The relationship between Clinical Trial Network protocol involvement and quality of substance use disorder treatment

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 Feb;46(2):232-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.08.021. Epub 2013 Sep 27.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse's Clinical Trials Network (CTN) is a practice-based research network that partners academic researchers with community based substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs designed primarily to conduct effectiveness trials of promising interventions. A secondary goal of the CTN is to widely disseminate results of these trials and thus improve the quality of SUD treatment in the US. Drawing on data from 156 CTN programs, this study examines the association between involvement in CTN protocols and overall treatment quality measured by a comprehensive index of 35 treatment services. Negative binomial regression models show that treatment programs participating in a greater number of CTN protocols had significantly higher levels of treatment quality, an association that held after controlling for key organizational characteristics. These findings contribute to the growing body of research on the role of practice-based research networks in promoting health care quality.

Keywords: Clinical trials network; Practice-based research network; Quality of care; Substance use disorders; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Binomial Distribution
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Community Health Services / methods*
  • Community Health Services / standards
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (U.S.)
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Research Design
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • United States