Using timelines to visualize service use pathways to alcohol treatment

Lynda Berends, Michael Savic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Many people in alcohol and other drug treatment are clients of other services, however there is limited consideration of the combinations and sequences of services and systems that they use. We used data visualization to analyze and re-present findings from a large research project on clients’ service use and referral sources in the year preceding alcohol treatment entry. Data were from 16 “high-end” service users with alcohol problems and analysis involved constructing individual text and timeline summaries and a visual encoding system to show service type and referral source. Three distinct service use pathways were identified and a visual model of alcohol treatment, other service use and continuity in treatment was constructed. Timelining was a useful means of developing a creative and illuminating perspective during analysis. Although there is a risk of over-simplification, data visualization appears useful for focusing on and communicating the diversity of people’s service use pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1964-1974
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Timelining
  • Treatment access
  • Visual representation

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