Validating a Survey for Addiction Wellness: The Recovery Capital Index

David Whitesock, Jing Zhao, Kristin Goettsch, Jessica Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Evaluating addiction wellness encompasses more than sobriety. The Recovery Capital Index (RCI), developed by Face It TOGETHER (FIT), measures addiction wellness using three domains and 22 components providing a comprehensive baseline and assessment of intervention effectiveness to allow for the tracking of client progress and to tailor support. The RCI is a holistic, person-centered metric irrespective of a person's treatment modality, recovery, or wellness pathway. METHODS: FIT and Sanford Research set a goal to validate the RCI's effectiveness to measure the factors associated with addiction wellness through a retrospective cohort study of FIT clients with the disease of addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. Study cohort included 154 client intake records with corresponding RCI scores. The RCI was subjected to descriptive analyses using stacked barplots and side-by-side boxplots. The Cronbach and correlation coefficients were used to check the reliability and validity of the components within each domain. Differences of RCI against clients' characteristics were examined using Tukey's test of multiple comparisons of means. RESULTS: The validation process verified the design of the RCI domains - personal, social, and cultural capital. Variables significantly related to addiction wellness, based on the RCI, are: primary addiction, addiction identification, employment, and income. The RCI accurately described the individual's current state of recovery. CONCLUSIONS: This project validated the RCI as a tool to measure addiction wellness. The RCI measures what it is intended to measure. The results allow FIT and Sanford Research to next validate the RCI instrument's predictive nature for measuring behavior change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalSouth Dakota medicine : the journal of the South Dakota State Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

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