Assessing pathological Detoxification Fear among methadone maintenance patients: The DFSS

J. B. Milby, R. H. Gurwitch, A. A. Hohmann, D. J. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study assessed the reliability, validity, discriminative accuracy, and factor structure of the Detoxification Fear Survey Schedule (DFSS). Prevalence of detoxification fear and its correlates also were assessed. Random samples from three geographically, culturally, and racially disparate populations (N = 271) of treated opioid addicts were used. The DFSS had a test‐retest r = .935 and demonstrated several indicants of validity. A briefer version (DFSS‐14) showed superior psychometric properties and could identify correctly 81% of detox fear subjects while it excluded 55% of nonfear subjects. The DFSS‐14 had a replicated three‐factor structure that accounted for 62.1% of total item variance in the validation sample. Factor two, probably best named dose reduction fear, was replicated in all populations. A cut‐off score set at the nonfear mean is recommended for clinical use. A brief clinical interview of positive scorers quickly should eliminate false positives and, thus, efficiently identify most of those with detoxification fear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-538
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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