Therapist–Patient Demographic Profile Matching: A Movement Toward Performance-Based Practice

David A. Patterson Silver Wolf (Adelv Unegv Waya), Catherine N. Dulmus, Eugene Maguin, Braden K. Linn, Travis W. Hales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Patients of substance use disorder (SUD), who successfully complete the treatment programs recommended by their therapists, have better health outcomes than the vast majority who drop out in the middle. We investigated the contribution of race and gender of both patients and therapists to address the cause of treatment noncompletion and gaps in knowledge. Method: Data collected from 11 SUD treatment outpatient programs, comprising 2,230 patients and 69 therapists, were analyzed to understand the effect of therapist–patient profile matching on treatment completion success rate. Results: Of the overall completion rate of 23%, White-male therapists had the highest rate (ranging from 20.4% to 50.0%) followed by White-female therapists (13.9% and 31.2%) dependent on patients’ race or gender. Non-White female and male therapists alike had varied but lesser completion rate. Discussion: Our studies recommend research and practice implementing performance-based practice measures with appropriate patient–therapist matching for better SUD-treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-683
Number of pages7
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology

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