Crack-Cocaine Use and Health Status as Defined by the SF-36

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The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) was administered to 443 not-in-treatment, crack-cocaine smokers to explore the relationship between frequency of crack, alcohol, and tobacco use, addiction to these drugs, and health status. The reliability of the SF-36 with crack smokers was also assessed. Statistically significant, negative associations emerged between frequency of crack use and all SF-36 subscales except physical functioning. There were not significant associations between frequency of alcohol or tobacco use and any SF-36 subscale. Self-assessed addiction to crack was strongly and negatively associated with all SF-36 subscales; alcohol and tobacco addiction were also negatively associated with health status, but not to the degree of crack. The SF-36 produces reliable data on the health status of crack users and, as such, may have a useful role in assessments involving crack-using populations.

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