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Determining clinical cutoff scores for the Australian Treatment Outcomes Profile psychological health, physical health and quality of life questions

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 01:58 authored by Mammen, K, Mills, L, Deacon, RM, Raimondo BrunoRaimondo Bruno, Dunlop, A, Holmes, J, Luksza, J, Shakeshaft, A, Farrell, M, Lintzeris, N

Introduction: The Australian Treatment Outcomes Profile (ATOP) is a brief instrument that measures self-reported substance use, health, and wellbeing in the previous 28 days for people in alcohol and other drug treatment. Previous studies have established the concurrent validity, inter-rater, and test-retest reliability of the tool. The current study sought to identify recommended cutoff scores for ATOP items for psychological health, physical health and quality of life that identify clients reporting clinically significant problems warranting further assessment and/or intervention, compared to cutoffs used by 'gold-standard' measures for these domains.

Methods: Clients attending for treatment for problems with opioid (n = 144) or alcohol use (n = 134) completed the ATOP and comparison standardised questionnaires (Kessler-10, Short Form Survey 12 and the Personal Wellbeing Index) with a researcher. Receiver operating characteristics analysis, along with clinician perspectives, were used to recommend cutoff scores for ATOP items indicative of clinically significant problems.

Results: A cutoff score of 5 or less out of 10 was identified as an optimal pragmatic cutoff for ATOP items relating to psychological health, physical health and quality of life items with regards to balancing sensitivity, specificity, and application in a treatment setting.

Discussion and conclusions: The recommended clinical cutoffs will support clinicians and treatment services to identify clients who require further assessment and follow up for their psychological health, physical health and quality of life. The current study provides further evidence for the utility of the ATOP for individual clinical review, service planning and research.


Publication title

Drug and Alcohol Review






School of Psychological Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2021 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

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Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in psychology

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