Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney, Professor Michael Farrell chaired a project team of leading researchers, practitioners, and lived experience representatives across Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia to establish the first international standard for measuring treatment outcomes for adults and young people aged 12 and above with disorders related to substance use and addictive behaviours.

This marks an important step towards promoting data quality and availability, and strengthening mental health care for this group of service users.

This collaboration was facilitated by the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) and made possible by the generous contributions of NHS England and NHS Improvement; the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, Australia; Providence Health Care, USA; and Region Västra Götaland, Sweden.

The ICHOM Working Group

The Addiction Standard Set (SUDSS) was developed by a dedicated ICHOM Working Group, comprised of 28 international experts and service user representatives, from eleven different countries. A full list of organizations and representatives involved in this Working Group is available on ICHOM’s website.

The Addiction Standard Set

The SUDSS makes a set of recommendations for how treatment outcomes should be measured in clinical practice. It recommends measuring five health outcomes across the broad domains of Severity of Dependence, Global Functioning and Quality of Life, as a minimum, for adults and young people seeking mental health support for disorders related to substance use and addictive behaviours. For this purpose, it recommends a set of eleven patient-reported outcome measures.

To help ensure the Standard Set is relevant across different intervention contexts, the Working Group also recommends 14 risk adjustment factors, to be collected along with the outcomes, as well as timepoints for measurement.

Measuring, reporting, and comparing these outcomes can help identify best practices in addiction mental health care; ultimately generating value and better outcomes for service users. The selected outcome measures are available in several languages so the Standard Set is assured to have increased adoption across countries. An open-source Reference Guide is available that outlines recommendations for administering

The standard set reference guides, flyers and data dictionaries are available free of charge on ICHOM Connect . Visit  today to access the materials for the Addiction Standard Set.