Dimensional Assessment for Patient Placement Engagement & Retention-3rd Edition

Authors: Norman G. Hoffmann, Ph.D., David Mee-Lee, M.D., Gerald D. Shulman, M.A., M.A.C.


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The DAPPER-3 (Dimensional Assessment for Patient Placement Engagement & Retention-3rd Edition) is a comprehensive treatment planning tool designed for assessing and documenting areas of strength, needs, and priorities within six dimensions compatible with the ASAM Criteria.


  • Consistent evaluation of constructs
  • Assess degree of severity/concern
  • Areas of concern highlighted
  • Clear presentation of repeated findings
  • Ability to clearly identify changes – positive or negative

Conditions Covered

  • Intoxication / Withdrawal
  • Acute intoxication
  • Intoxication severity
  • Withdrawal indications
  • Historical withdrawal concerns
  • Medical Conditions / Complications
  • Acute medical conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Degree of management required
  • Impacts on treatment
  • Emotional / Behavioral / Cognitive Concerns
  • Violence potential
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Co-occurring conditions
  • Readiness to Change
  • Understanding of condition(s)
  • Commitment to change
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Relapse / Continued Problem Potential
  • Level of engagement
  • Risk factors
  • Craving/reactivity
  • Psychological factors
  • Recovery Environment
  • Social/interpersonal
  • Environment
  • Victimization
  • Logistical issues


The DAPPER-3 is used at intake for identifying priorities in developing an initial treatment plan. Subsequent assessments determine if desired changes are occurring or if areas are stable.


Ratings of the individual constructs are done by experienced clinicians while conducting a semi-structured interview covering the topics on the instrument. All constructs are scored on a five-point scale from 0 to 4 with 4 being the most concerning and 0 being of little to no concern. Anchor points are provided for the ratings for each construct. All scores of 3 or 4 are highlighted with a red background. Such areas would typically be of immediate concern or priorities in treatment.