Does treatment readiness enhance the response of African American substance users to Motivational Enhancement Therapy? Academic Article uri icon


  • The development of effective treatments for African Americans and other ethnic minorities is essential for reducing health disparities in substance use. Despite research suggesting that Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) may reduce substance use among African Americans, the findings have been inconsistent. This research examined the extent to which readiness-to-change (RTC) affects response to MET among African American substance users. The study was a secondary analysis of the 194 African American substance users participating in a multisite randomized clinical trial evaluating MET originally conducted within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either three sessions of MET or Counseling-As-Usual (CAU) followed by the ordinary treatment and other services offered at the five participating outpatient programs. Participants were categorized as either high or lower on RTC based on their scores on the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment. The participants reported their substance use at baseline and throughout the 16 weeks after randomization. Among the high RTC participants, those in MET tended to report fewer days of substance use per week over time than participants in CAU. However, among the lower RTC participants, the CAU group tended to report fewer days of substance use over time than MET participants. In contrast to previous thinking, the findings suggest that MET may be more effective for high than lower RTC African American participants.PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

publication date

  • September 2013