Development and validation of a Brief Assessment of Recovery Capital (BARC-10) for alcohol and drug use disorder


Vilsaint, C. L., Kelly, J. F., Bergman, B. G., Groshkova, T., Best, D., & White, W. (2017). Development and validation of a Brief Assessment of Recovery Capital (BARC-10) for alcohol and drug use disorder. Drug and Alcohol Dependence , 177 (1), 71-76.


BACKGROUND: It has been long established that achieving recovery from an alcohol or other drug use disorder is associated with increased biobehavioral stress. To enhance the chances of recovery, a variety of psychological, physical, social, and environmental resources, known as "recovery capital", are deemed important as they can help mitigate this high stress burden. A 50-item measure of recovery capital was developed (Assessment of Recovery Capital [ARC]), with 10 subscales; however, a briefer version could enhance further deployment in research and busy clinical/recovery support service settings. To help increase utility of the measure, the goal of the current study was to create a shorter version using Item Response Theory models.

METHOD: Items were pooled from the original treatment samples from Scotland and Australia (N=450) for scale reduction. A reduced version was tested in an independent sample (N=123), and a Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve was constructed to determine optimal cut-off for sustained remission (>12months abstinence).

RESULTS: An abbreviated 10-item measure of recovery capital captured item representation from all 10 original subscales, was invariant across participant's locality and gender, had high internal consistency (α=.90), concurrent validity with the original measure (rpb=.90), and predictive validity with sustained remission using a cut-off score of 47.

CONCLUSION: The brief assessment of recovery capital 10-item version (BARC-10) concisely measures a single unified dimension of recovery capital that may have utility for researchers, clinicians, and recovery support services.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Alcohol; Brief scale; Item response theory; Recovery capital; Remission; Substance use disorder

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