Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 370–376 | Cite as

Adaptive interventions may optimize outcomes in drug courts: A pilot study

  • Douglas B. MarloweEmail author
  • David S. Festinger
  • Patricia L. Arabia
  • Karen L. Dugosh
  • Kathleen M. Benasutti
  • Jason R. Croft


Adaptive interventions apply a priori decision rules for adjusting treatment services in response to participants’ clinical presentation or performance in treatment. This pilot study (n = 30) experimentally examined an adaptive intervention in a misdemeanor drug court. The participants were primarily charged with possession of marijuana (73%) or possession of drug paraphernalia (23%). Results revealed that participants in the adaptive condition had higher graduation rates and required significantly less time to graduate from the program and achieve a final resolution of the case. It took an average of nearly 4 fewer months for participants in the adaptive intervention to resolve their cases compared with those participating in drug court as usual. Participants in the adaptive condition also reported equivalent satisfaction with the program and therapeutic alliances with their counselors. These data suggest that adaptive interventions may enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of drug courts and justify examining adaptive interventions in large-scale drug court studies.


Adaptive Algorithm Therapeutic Alliance Antisocial Personality Disorder Drug Court Status Hearing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas B. Marlowe
    • 1
    Email author
  • David S. Festinger
  • Patricia L. Arabia
  • Karen L. Dugosh
  • Kathleen M. Benasutti
  • Jason R. Croft
  1. 1.Treatment Research InstitutePhiladelphiaUSA

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