Development and validation of a Brief Assessment of Recovery Capital (BARC-10) for alcohol and drug use disorder

Corrie L. Vilsaint, John F. Kelly, Brandon G. Bergman, Teodora Groshkova, David Best, William White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Background It has been long established that achieving recovery from an alcohol or other drug use disorder is associated with increased biobehavioral stress. To enhance the chances of recovery, a variety of psychological, physical, social, and environmental resources, known as “recovery capital”, are deemed important as they can help mitigate this high stress burden. A 50-item measure of recovery capital was developed (Assessment of Recovery Capital [ARC]), with 10 subscales; however, a briefer version could enhance further deployment in research and busy clinical/recovery support service settings. To help increase utility of the measure, the goal of the current study was to create a shorter version using Item Response Theory models. Method Items were pooled from the original treatment samples from Scotland and Australia (N = 450) for scale reduction. A reduced version was tested in an independent sample (N = 123), and a Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve was constructed to determine optimal cut-off for sustained remission (> 12 months abstinence). Results An abbreviated 10-item measure of recovery capital captured item representation from all 10 original subscales, was invariant across participant's locality and gender, had high internal consistency (α = .90), concurrent validity with the original measure (rpb =.90), and predictive validity with sustained remission using a cut-off score of 47. Conclusion The brief assessment of recovery capital 10-item version (BARC-10) concisely measures a single unified dimension of recovery capital that may have utility for researchers, clinicians, and recovery support services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Brief scale
  • Item response theory
  • Recovery capital
  • Remission
  • Substance use disorder

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