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Measurements in the Addictions for Triage and Evaluation

The MATE is the result of a Dutch research project aimed at developing specifications for domains and functions of measurement instruments for assessing clinical relevant patient characteristics in substance abuse treatment services.

The MATE is developed by prof.dr. Gerard Schippers (Academic Medical Center-University of Amsterdam) and drs. Theo Broekman (Bureau Bêta, Nijmegen).

The MATE is translated into German by Angela Buchholz and colleagues (Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, IFT Institut für Therapieforschung München, and Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster).

The MATE is translated into English by Miles Cox (Professor of The Psychology of Addictive Behaviours, Bangor University, UK).

The MATE is translated into Italian by Giorgio Nespoli and Emanuele Bignamini from the Dipartimento Dipendenze 1 ASL Torino for FeDerSerD (Federazione italiana degli operatori dei dipartimenti e dei servizi delle dipendenze).

The MATE is translated into Danish by Morten Dvoracek Hell, Kjeld Andersen, Angelina Isabella Mellentin, & Anette Søgaard Nielsen from the Unit of Clinical Alcohol Research, University of Southern Denmark.

The MATE is translated into French by Benjamin Rolland, Nicolas Simioni, & Damien Galland from Department of Addiction Medicine and department of Pharmacology University Hospital of Lille, France.

The MATE form is translated into Slovenian by Maja Bundalo Bočić from the Health Centre Maribor & Jernej Vidmar from the University Health Centre Maribor.

In 2014 academic groups started to translate the MATE in Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese.

The MATE in brief

The MATE

1.   is set up to make a valid and reliable assessment of various patient characteristics for the purpose of referring patients to substance abuse treatment and evaluating the treatment that is provided.

2.   is functional for use in the everyday practice of healthcare providers and is acceptable to the people with whom it is used. It gives an appraisal of both patients’ limitations and their strengths, is based on WHO classification systems, and includes the best available tests and subtests.

3.   assesses, among other domains, the person’s use of psychoactive substances, history of substance abuse treatment, and his or her degree of craving for psychoactive substances.

4.   is designed as an aid in the diagnosis of people with substance use disorders according to the DSM-IV axes.

5.   determines the extent to which the person actively participates in society, identifies environmental factors that affect the participation and the need for care that results from it, and is suitable for use with people with psychiatric disorders in general.

6.   identifies indicators for a medical or a psychiatric/psychological consultation. It does by obtaining information about the person’s physical illnesses and problems and by measuring symptoms of anxiety and depression and other psychiatric disorders, including personality disorder.

7.   is not intended for use in medical or psychiatric crisis situations.

8.   does not provide diagnoses of medical or psychiatric disorders other than substance use disorders. It does, however, identify people who might need a diagnostic evaluation.

9.   includes algorithms for estimating the severity of the person’s addiction, the degree of psychiatric impairment and social instability, and the history of substance abuse treatment. Scores based on the algorithms can be used to arrive at the appropriate level of care for each person, as determined by DeWildt et al. (2002) and Merkx et al.’s (2007) decision tree in their intake protocol.

10.   allows treatment to be monitored and evaluated on the basis of the person’s use of psychoactive substances and gambling activity, physical and psychiatric symptoms, activities and participation, and factors that affect the need for care.

11.   provides 20 different assessment scores.

12.   follows a comprehensive protocol for conducting the interview and for processing the results obtained from it.

13.   follows an interview format with comprehensive descriptions, tips, and suggestions provided for each domain and factor that is assessed. Were necessary, well-defined anchor points are also provided for each of the categories that is scored.

14.   is flexible and easy to understand because of the modular structure of the subtests.

15.   can be completed in approximately one hour.

16.   results can be processed and stored electronically.