Pilot outcome results of culturally adapted evidence-based substance use disorder treatment with a Southwest Tribe

Kamilla L. Venner, Brenna L. Greenfield, Kylee J. Hagler, Jeremiah Simmons, Donna Lupee, Everett Homer, Yvette Yamutewa, Jane Ellen Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) have exhibited high rates of alcohol and drug use disorders, there is a paucity of substance use disorder treatment outcome research. In addition, there exists controversy about whether evidence-based treatments (EBTs) are culturally appropriate given that they were derived mainly by and for non-Hispanic White populations and do not explicitly include aspects of AI/AN culture and worldview. Methods: In this pilot study, we collaboratively culturally adapted two EBTs, Motivational Interviewing and Community Reinforcement Approach (MICRA), and evaluated substance use and psychological outcomes at 4- and 8-months post-baseline assessment. In preparation for a larger randomized clinical trial (RCT), eight tribal members (75% male) participated in this pilot treatment study. Measures included substance use, urine screens, self-efficacy, psychological distress, and hopelessness. All participants completed follow-up assessments at 4- and 8-months. Due to small sample size, effect sizes were calculated to evaluate outcomes pre- and post-treatment. Results: Despite high rates of abstinence at baseline, percent days abstinent (PDA) increased at the 8-month time point for the most commonly used substances (alcohol, Hedges's g = 0.59, and marijuana, g = 0.60) and for all substances combined (excluding tobacco, g = 0.56). Improvements in psychological distress (g = - 0.66) and 5 of the 7 Addiction Severity Index domains (range of g = - 0.42 to - 0.98) also emerged. Conclusions: Results suggest that culturally adapted EBTs yield significant improvements in alcohol use, psychological distress, and legal problems among AI/ANs. Future research using RCT methodology is needed to examine efficacy and effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors Reports
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by NIDA Grant R01-DA021672 . NIDA had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors.


  • American Indian
  • Community reinforcement approach
  • Cultural adaptation
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Substance use disorder
  • Treatment


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