Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Christopher Royer, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Donald Masey, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Janet Knisely, Ph.D.


This study examines factors in relapse to alcohol and drug dependence among health professionals, seeking to identify relationships between identified conditions and relapse. The subjects are 100 health professionals, 84 male and 16 female, randomly selected from a cohort of 308, who provided data in a previous study taking place between 1995 and 1998. These subjects were broken into two groups, relapse vs. no relapse at 5 years after participation in the original study, the post-marketing survey on tramadol (Knisely J, Campbell E, Dawson K, Schnoll S, 2002). Archival data from the previous study was used. Chart review and analysis of archival data were the methods of data collection. Data were analyzed using chi-square and one-way analysis of variance tests. Presence of a comorbid personalitydisorder (Axis II) diagnosis was related to relapse (X2 = 21.418, df= 1, p<.05), as was presence of a comorbid (Axis 1) psychiatric diagnosis (secondary substance use diagnoses not included) ( x: = 9.180, df = 1, p<.05). The combination of a presence of both comorbid personality disorder and psychiatric (axis 1) diagnoses were related to relapse (X2 = 23.645, d:f-=l, p<.05).Level of treatment comparing inpatient or residential and outpatient treatment did not provide a significant correlation. The sample appeared to be too homogeneous on this variable for meaningful companson. Additional research, empirical and qualitative, is recommended to explore the phenomenon of relapse among health professionals. Peer assistance programs are encouraged to factor psychiatric disorders including personality disorders into evaluation and treatment plans extending beyond initial treatment experience.