The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5003.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 9:06 AM

Abstract #47876

Opinions about methadone: A predictor of treatment outcome

Marjorie F. Goldstein, PhD, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc, 71 West 23 Street, New York, NY 10010, 212-845-4469,, Deborah J. Kayman, CSW, NDRI, Inc., 71 West 23 Street, New York, NY 10010, and Sherry Deren, PhD, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010.

Clients entering methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTP) should be assessed for their likelihood of remaining in treatment. Those likeliest to leave treatment prematurely can then be targeted for intervention in support of retention. Studies have identified common client misconceptions and myths about methadone. In an effort to determine whether these are related to leaving treatment during the year following enrollment, opinions about methadone were measured for 338 MMTP enrollees, using the ‘Opinions About Methadone' (OAM) scale (Brown, 1975). The scale includes beliefs about the benefits of methadone treatment to the individual and to society. The mean score on a 9-item version of the scale was 33 out of a possible 45; higher scores reflected more positive attitudes. The mean age of the sample was 39. Fifty-one percent were Hispanic, 32.8% were non-Hispanic Black, and 16% were White or Native American. OAM scores did not differ significantly by ethnic group; however, there was a significant difference between males and females (p=.048, t-test). OAM score predicted whether clients would remain in treatment or drop out during the first year (p=.046, t-test). These findings support the conclusion that opinions and beliefs about methadone do influence clients’ decisions to remain in MMTP or to drop out. Clients’ beliefs and opinions about methadone should be systematically assessed during intake. Staff interventions can then be designed to offer information needed to dispel myths and misconceptions and to help clients appreciate the benefits of methadone treatment.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Methadone Maintenance, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

New Findings in Methadone Maintenance

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA