Methadone treatment is used widely as the first-choice, most available treatment for heroin dependence. Oral ingestion of methadone cannot only help opiate addicts prevent HIV infection, but it also reduces the negative consequences of heroin abuse by managing withdrawal syndromes and cravings [1
]. Methadone maintenance therapy primarily provides heroin-dependent patients with long-term methadone and recovery plans, such as hygiene training, routine physical and mental health checkups, urine tests, and group psychological counseling [3
]. Since the studies on the effects of methadone on HIV prevention and heroin dependence syndrome, public health researchers and psychiatrists have been investigating how best to improve the outcomes and outcome assessments further for their heroin dependent participants. A study [5
] found that patients with positive perceptions of methadone on craving management showed better psychiatric functioning and stayed longer in treatment.
Methadone is a complete opioid agonist used in psychiatry for heroin detoxification [6
], and so persons taking methadone should be able to delay their craving for heroin. Hence, assessing changes in heroin craving and craving beliefs during different periods of methadone consumption can provide important information regarding the efficacy of methadone treatment. A handful of instruments have been designed to assess heroin craving and craving beliefs in Western countries [7
], and they have been employed either singly or in combination in pharmaceutical and/or psychosocial interventions for addiction [8
Craving is a construct that continues to be actively debated in the substance dependence literature. Although there is inconsistent evidence that it is linked to relapse, craving is frequently reported as a trigger to relapse by those trying to remain abstinent and is one of the diagnostic criteria for substance dependence. Craving is viewed as a subjective experience and therefore is assessed with self-report scales. The process of craving involves physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral characteristics that have been well documented in the literature [10
]. In addition, cravings can continue for months and even years after the cessation of drug use [11
]. Rosenberg [7
] provided a comprehensive review on the self report assessment tools of the craving and concluded that single-item ratings that focus on the intensity, frequency or duration of craving may fail to assess urges and craving if drug users attribute the feelings to another psychological or physiological state. Hence, single-item rating of subjective craving may not well manifest the nature of craving. Moreover, assessing different dimensions of craving may predict different types of outcome [12
Evidence for the effectiveness of methadone programs in reducing heroin use, reducing crime, improving health, and limiting the spread of blood-borne viruses such as HIV is substantial [13
]. Strategies for improving the effectiveness of existing medication programs are now an area of growing interest. Although debate about the components and diagnostic value of craving continues, reliable and valid measures of craving would have advantages for clinical psychologists, physicians, and researchers. However, few research attention has been paid to the cravings or craving beliefs of Chinese heroin dependent patients. Consequently, none of assessment tool or criteria currently available addresses the problem in Chinese culture. Hence, this paper reports the psychometric properties of the Chinese Craving Beliefs Questionnaire (CCBQ).