Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN)

Instrument Basics

The Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) family of instruments uses a progressive approach to support treatment practices from initial screenings to standardized clinical assessments used for diagnosis, placement, and treatment planning. The GAIN can be implemented in a variety of settings; outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, methadone, short-term residential, long-term residential, therapeutic community and correctional programs.

The GAIN Initial instrument uses eight core sections to assess the youth:   

  • Background
  • Substance Use
  • Physical Health
  • Risk Behaviors & Disease Prevention
  • Mental & Emotional Health
  • Environmental & Living Situation
  • Legal
  • Vocational


  • Ages 12 & up
  • Instrument Details:
    • GAIN-Short Screener (GAIN-SS): Screener used with the general population to quickly identify those in need of further assessment (2 pages; 5 minutes; available in Spanish)

    • GAIN-Q3: Brief-assessment to identify a wide range of problems among those in clinical and general populations (19-34 pages; 20-45 minutes) 

    • GAIN-Initial (GAIN-I): Comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment used for substance abuse diagnosis, placement, treatment planning, outcome monitoring, economic analysis, and/or program planning (56-113 pages; 60-150 minutes; available in Spanish)


Visit The GAIN Coordinating Center on Chestnut Health Systems' website to find out more about the tool, research costs, and to learn about training opportunities.