Background: Few studies examine the helpfulness and effectiveness of substance abuse treatment from the clients' perspective. Methods: The current secondary analysis examined the perceived helpfulness of substance abuse treatment components and its relationship to treatment outcomes among 387 Black and White adults participating in a multisite randomized clinical trial (RCT) of Motivational Enhancement Therapy. Throughout the 16-week RCT, participants self-reported substance use. Upon completion of treatment, participants completed a self-report measure assessing the perceived helpfulness of treatment components. Results: Black participants rated 9 out of 12 treatment components (e.g., "learning skills that will help me cope with my problems") as being more helpful than their White counterparts, even after controlling for age, gender, employment status, primary drug type, and treatment assignment. However, perceived helpfulness ratings were not associated with substance use outcomes among Black or White participants. Conclusions: Clients' perceived helpfulness of treatment components is an important factor to consider in improving the delivery of substance abuse treatment, especially for Black adults. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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