Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Interdisciplinary Studies (Graduate)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Daniel A. Santisteban - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Joseph P. De Santis - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Victoria Behar Mitrani - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Terrence D. Hill - Committee Member


The purpose of this study was to compare the health profiles of women seeking residential treatment for substance abuse with women in the community. These 2 data sets consisted of a total of 621 participants. An additional aim of the present study was to examine whether these health profiles differ between the monosubstance abusing and polysubstance abusing women within the treatment group. There were a total of 257 participants in this group. All analyses controlled for the effects of age, insurance, marital status, employment and race/ethnicity. Binary logistic regressions were used to compare between and within the specified groups on the following variables: asthma, dyslipidemia, diabetes, Hepatitis B vaccination, HIV testing, hypertension, Pap smear testing, mental health problems, overweight/obesity and smoking. A follow-up analyses examined whether differences in the variables could be explained by the effects of specific control variables. Results suggested that differences in four outcomes might be explained by a single or smaller number of specific control variables. The overall results revealed that age was one of the strongest predictors of differences between the treatment and community group. When we controlled for age, marital status, low socioeconomic status (insurance, employment) and ethnicity we found that only two variables were significantly different. Women in residential showed significantly more smoking and mental health symptoms than were found in the community sample. There were no significant differences in the health profiles of polysubstance substance abusing than were found in monosubstance abusing women. The findings of the present study indicate that women seeking treatment are individuals with similar health disorders and health maintaining behaviors as the general population of women. However, women seeking treatment have significant increases in mental health disorders and smoking. Older age was related to increases in the odds of having dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and decreases in the odds of being immunized for Hepatitis B, tested for HIV, and having a Pap test in the last year. Due to anticipated-age related disorders, screening for dyslipidemia, diabetes, and hypertension should be provided for older women seeking admission to treatment. Substance abuse treatment centers for women should provide for mental health services and offer smoking cessation.


Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; Nurse Practitioner; Health Belief Model