Introducing an Evidence-Based, Time- and Cost-Efficient Assessment for Adolescents: CHAT

To help organizations seeking a time- and cost-efficient assessment for adolescents, Inflexxion developed the Comprehensive Health Assessment for Teens, or CHAT, which has been found to be both valid and reliable in research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The CHAT format is based on the ASI-MV Connect, a self-administered, multimedia version of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) developed by Dr. A. Thomas McLellan. A number of treatment centers, such as the Center for Drug-Free Living in Orlando, Florida, are using the ASI-MV Connect as part of the NIATx campaign to streamline their assessment procedures [PDF].

Like the adult ASI-MV Connect assessment, the CHAT is a self-administered, multimedia assessment. It is integrated in the ASI-MV Connect program, and is designed to provide the same time- and cost-savings, while offering the unique clinical value of an instrument developed specifically for use with adolescent clients.
The CHAT has a developmental approach that is suited to the varying needs of youth. It assesses strengths as well as problem areas, to offer clinicians a more comprehensive portrait for guiding treatment. Through a 45-60 minute interview, the CHAT provides scores in six areas: Alcohol Use; Drug Use; Tobacco Use; Psychological Health; Family Relationships; and Peer Relationships.
The format is designed to be engaging to adolescent clients, and to facilitate self-report. Navigating a user-friendly interface, clients self-administer a private, non-judgmental interview that may increase the honesty and accuracy of their answers. Clients are introduced to each section of the interview by welcoming peer guides.
Inflexxion has conducted extensive research to validate the CHAT. In Phase II of the NIDA-funded study, Multimedia ASI for Adolescents (SBIR Grant #5R44D A014139-04), we completed a clinical field trial to finalize the scoring system and examine internal consistency, test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, and convergent/discriminant validity of the CHAT. These studies confirmed that the CHAT is a valid and reliable instrument [PDF].
We invite organizations that serve adolescents to learn more about the CHAT by reading Inflexxion’s white paper, which features clinical impressions by Andrea Meier, MS, LADC, LCMHC, Counseling Supervisor at Spectrum Youth and Family Services in Burlington, Vermont, including a discussion comparing the utility of the CHAT with the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN).
To enable organizations to become familiar with the CHAT and determine whether it suits their needs, use of the CHAT is free of charge through the end of 2009. Any organization that registers for the ASI-MV Connect system can use the CHAT, and Inflexxion always offers a free 30-day trial of the program. For more pricing information, we invite you to visit the ASI-MV Connect website, or email our team.

Dr. Albert Villapiano is Vice President of Clinical Development, Substance Abuse at Inflexxion and is in charge of the substance abuse product line. He is also a licensed psychologist who received his doctorate from Boston University in 1983.  He has over 25 years of experience as a clinician, trainer, researcher, administrator and consultant.
At Inflexxion, Dr. Villapiano is a co-principal investigator on several National Institute of Health (NIH) grants and has been focused on the development and implementation of innovative processes and tools to improve the quality of behavioral health assessment, treatment and education. 

Updated: February 08 2018