Perceived Treatment Needs Among Women With Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders and PTSD

Stella M. Resko, Suzanne Brown, Natasha Mendoza, Shantel Crosby, Antonio González-Prendes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Perception of need is a key factor that influences decisions to seek help and complete treatment for substance use and mental health problems. In the current study, we examine patterns of perceived treatment needs among women with co-occurring substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and explore how these patterns are associated with demographics, psychosocial variables, and treatment-related factors. Methods: Secondary data analysis of the Women and Trauma Study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Clinical Trial Network was conducted. The sample included 353 women with co-occurring substance use disorders and PTSD (full or subthreshold) receiving outpatient substance abuse treatment. Latent class analysis was used to examine patterns of perceived treatment need and multinomial logistic regression was used to identify characteristics associated with these patterns. Results: The sample included women between the ages of 18 and 65 (mean = 39.2, SD = 9.3) and was 46% White, 34% African American, and 21% other races/ethnicities. A three-class model representing unique perceptions of treatment needs demonstrated the best fit (Bayesian information criterion = 2101.43; entropy = 0.76; average posterior probabilities ≤ 0.82). Class one reported elevated needs in multiple areas (38%), class two reported low needs (23%), and class three reported substance use and psychological needs (40%). Living with a substance abuser, depression symptoms, recent substance use, and treatment coercion were significantly associated with membership in class 2 (OR = .28, .84, .22, and 2.32, respectively). Other race, being married, depression symptoms, recent substance use, and criminal justice involvement were associated with membership in class 3 (OR = 2.32, 2.32, .94, .42, and 1.69, respectively). Number of treatment sessions attended was not significantly associated with class membership. Conclusions: Results provide insight into how women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders view their treatment needs. While some women reported high levels of self-identified need in other areas (e.g., physical health, employment/financial support, and family or social relationships), others did not identify as having any problems (including substance use or psychological problems). Level of severity and temporal aspects of problems may be significant factors that influence women's perceived need for treatment. This clinical trial is registered at as trial #NCT00078156.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dual Diagnosis
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 11 2016



  • co-occurring substance use and PTSD
  • treatment needs
  • Women and trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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