How can we begin to measure recovery?

Karen Dodge, Barbara Krantz, Paul J. Kenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: There is a lack of consensus in the addiction treatment literature regarding the definition of substance abuse "recovery".Methods: This study utilized a review of the literature together with a participatory research design to construct a conceptual model of recovery from the perspectives of addiction treatment professionals, those recovering from addictions, and researchers.Results: A multidimensional, comprehensive hypothetical model consisting of seven conceptual domains (physical, biomarker, psychological, psychiatric, chemical dependency, family/social, and spiritual) is presented. Each domain is operationally defined by identifying reliable and valid instruments that may be used to measure the domain. It is proposed that the conceptual model be tested using confirmatory factor analysis.Conclusions: If empirically supported, this conceptual model would validate the hypothesized multidimensional nature of recovery and provide a potential means for assessing recovery in future treatment outcome studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalSubstance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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