Quality of life of individuals seeking treatment at specialist non-government alcohol and other drug treatment services: A latent class analysis
2018 Elsevier Inc. Quality of Life (QOL) is increasingly being recognised as an important indicator of recovery from substance use treatment. The current study aimed to determine if there are distinct subclasses of QOL among a broad range of people attending specialist non-government alcohol and other drug treatment services, and how QOL might be associated with substance use, mental health, treatment and demographic characteristics of these individuals. The sample included 9958 individuals attending specialist non-government treatment for alcohol or other substance use in New South Wales, Australia. Cross sectional data on quality of life, drug use, treatment variables, psychological distress and substance dependence severity was collected. Latent class analysis was conducted to identify quality of life classes within the sample. Regression analyses were then performed to identify which individual, treatment and health outcomes were associated with these classes. Three distinct quality of life classes were identified, and termed low (n = 3048), moderate (n = 4211) and high quality of life (n = 2699). Classes differed across individual characteristics, substance use and psychological distress. As hypothesised, greater substance use and higher distress was evident in the lowest quality of life class. Quality of life is an important measure of an individuals' level of functioning during recovery from substance use. The identification of subgroups of individuals with substance use disorders based on their quality of life classes may help guide interventions to improve their overall global functioning and treatment outcomes.