Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (908410)

Clipboard (0)

Related Articles

1.  Employment-Based Abstinence Reinforcement as a Maintenance Intervention for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2009;104(9):1530-1538.
Due to the chronic nature of cocaine dependence, long-term maintenance treatments may be required to sustain abstinence. Abstinence reinforcement is among the most effective means of initiating cocaine abstinence. Practical and effective means of maintaining abstinence reinforcement programs over time are needed.
Determine whether employment-based abstinence reinforcement can be an effective long-term maintenance intervention for cocaine dependence.
Participants (N=128) were enrolled in a 6-month job skills training and abstinence initiation program. Participants who initiated abstinence, attended regularly, and developed needed job skills during the first six months were hired as operators in a data entry business and randomly assigned to an employment only (Control, n = 24) or abstinence-contingent employment (n = 27) group.
A nonprofit data entry business.
Unemployed welfare recipients who persistently used cocaine while enrolled in methadone treatment in Baltimore.
Abstinence-contingent employment participants received one year of employment-based contingency management, in which access to employment was contingent on provision drug-free urine samples under routine and then random drug testing. If a participant provided drug-positive urine or failed to provide a mandatory sample, then that participant received a temporary reduction in pay and could not work until urinalysis confirmed recent abstinence.
Main Outcome Measure:
Cocaine-negative urine samples at monthly assessments across one year of employment.
During the one-year of employment, abstinence-contingent employment participants provided significantly more cocaine-negative urine samples than employment only participants (79.3% and 50.7%, respectively; p = 0.004, OR = 3.73, 95% CI = 1.60 – 8.69).
Employment-based abstinence reinforcement that includes random drug testing is effective as a long-term maintenance intervention, and is among the most promising treatments for drug dependence. Workplaces could serve as therapeutic agents in the treatment of drug dependence by arranging long-term employment-based contingency management programs.
Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT00249496
PMCID: PMC2729763  PMID: 19686522
Cocaine; Methadone; Employment; Contingency management; Abstinence reinforcement
2.  Employment-based abstinence reinforcement as a maintenance intervention for the treatment of cocaine dependence: post-intervention outcomes 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2011;106(5):960-967.
Due to the chronicity of cocaine dependence, practical and effective maintenance interventions are needed to sustain long-term abstinence. We sought to assess the effects of long-term employment-based reinforcement of cocaine abstinence after discontinuation of the intervention.
Participants who initiated sustained opiate and cocaine abstinence during a 6-month abstinence reinforcement and training program worked as data entry operators and were randomly assigned to a group that could work independent of drug use (Control, n = 24), or an abstinence-contingent employment (n = 27) group that was required to provide cocaine- and opiate-negative urine samples to work and maintain maximum rate of pay.
A nonprofit data entry business.
Unemployed welfare recipients who persistently used cocaine while in methadone treatment.
Urine samples and self-reports were collected every six months for 30 months.
During the employment year, abstinence-contingent employment participants provided significantly more cocaine-negative samples than controls (82.7% and 54.2%; P = .01, OR = 4.61). During the follow-up year, the groups had similar rates of cocaine-negative samples (44.2% and 50.0%; P = .93), and HIV-risk behaviors. Participants’ social, employment, economic, and legal conditions were similar in the two groups across all phases of the study.
Employment-based reinforcement effectively maintains long-term cocaine abstinence, but many patients relapse to use when the abstinence contingency is discontinued, even after a year of abstinence-contingent employment. Relapse could be prevented in many patients by leaving employment-based abstinence reinforcement in place indefinitely, which could be facilitated by integrating it into typical workplaces.
PMCID: PMC3074032  PMID: 21226886
Cocaine; Methadone; Employment; Contingency management; Abstinence reinforcement
3.  Employment-Based Reinforcement of Adherence to Depot Naltrexone in Unemployed Opioid-Dependent Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2011;106(7):1309-1318.
Naltrexone can be used to treat opioid dependence, but patients refuse to take it. Extended-release depot formulations may improve adherence, but long-term adherence rates to depot naltrexone are not known. This study determined long-term rates of adherence to depot naltrexone and whether employment-based reinforcement can improve adherence.
Participants who were inducted onto oral naltrexone were randomly assigned to Contingency (n=18) or Prescription (n=17) groups. Participants were offered six depot naltrexone injections and invited to work at the therapeutic workplace weekdays for 26 weeks where they earned stipends for participating in job skills training. Contingency participants were required to accept naltrexone injections to maintain workplace access and to maintain maximum pay. Prescription participants could work independent of whether they accepted injections.
The therapeutic workplace, a model employment-based intervention for drug addiction and unemployment.
Opioid-dependent unemployed adults.
Depot naltrexone injections accepted and opiate-negative urine samples.
Contingency participants accepted significantly more naltrexone injections than Prescription participants (81% versus 42%), and were more likely to accept all injections (66% versus 35%). At monthly assessments (with missing urine samples imputed as positive), the groups provided similar percentages of samples negative for opiates (74% versus 62%) and for cocaine (56% versus 54%). Opiate positive samples were more likely when samples were also positive for cocaine.
Employment-based reinforcement can maintain adherence to depot naltrexone. Future research should determine whether persistent cocaine use compromises naltrexone's effect on opiate use. Workplaces may be useful for promoting sustained adherence to depot naltrexone.
PMCID: PMC3107896  PMID: 21320227
depot naltrexone; contingency management; heroin; substance abuse; employment-based reinforcement
4.  Employment-based abstinence reinforcement following inpatient detoxification in HIV-positive opioid and/or cocaine-dependent patients 
Employment-based reinforcement interventions have been used to promote abstinence from drugs among chronically unemployed injection drug users. The current study utilized an employment-based reinforcement intervention to promote opiate and cocaine abstinence among opioid-dependent, HIV-positive participants who had recently completed a brief inpatient detoxification. Participants (n=46) were randomly assigned to an Abstinence & Work group that was required to provide negative urine samples in order to enter the workplace and earn incentives for work (n=16), a Work Only group that was permitted to enter the workplace and earn incentives independent of drug use (n=15), and a No Voucher control group that did not receive any incentives for working (n=15) over a 26-week period. The primary outcome was urinalysis-confirmed opiate, cocaine, and combined opiate/cocaine abstinence. Participants were 78% male and 89% African American. Results showed no significant between-group differences in urinalysis-verified drug abstinence or HIV risk behaviors during the 6-month intervention. The Work Only group had significantly greater workplace attendance and worked more minutes per day when compared to the No Voucher group. Several features of the study design, including the lack of an induction period, setting the threshold for entering the workplace too high by requiring immediate abstinence from several drugs, and increasing the risk of relapse by providing a brief detoxification that was not supported by any continued pharmacological intervention, likely prevented the workplace from becoming established as a reinforcer that could be used to promote drug abstinence. However, increases in workplace attendance have important implications for adult training programs.
PMCID: PMC4332775  PMID: 24490712
HIV; contingency management; therapeutic workplace; incentive; injection drug use
5.  The Effectiveness of Community Action in Reducing Risky Alcohol Consumption and Harm: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(3):e1001617.
In a cluster randomized controlled trial, Anthony Shakeshaft and colleagues measure the effectiveness of a multi-component community-based intervention for reducing alcohol-related harm.
The World Health Organization, governments, and communities agree that community action is likely to reduce risky alcohol consumption and harm. Despite this agreement, there is little rigorous evidence that community action is effective: of the six randomised trials of community action published to date, all were US-based and focused on young people (rather than the whole community), and their outcomes were limited to self-report or alcohol purchase attempts. The objective of this study was to conduct the first non-US randomised controlled trial (RCT) of community action to quantify the effectiveness of this approach in reducing risky alcohol consumption and harms measured using both self-report and routinely collected data.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cluster RCT comprising 20 communities in Australia that had populations of 5,000–20,000, were at least 100 km from an urban centre (population ≥ 100,000), and were not involved in another community alcohol project. Communities were pair-matched, and one member of each pair was randomly allocated to the experimental group. Thirteen interventions were implemented in the experimental communities from 2005 to 2009: community engagement; general practitioner training in alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI); feedback to key stakeholders; media campaign; workplace policies/practices training; school-based intervention; general practitioner feedback on their prescribing of alcohol medications; community pharmacy-based SBI; web-based SBI; Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services support for SBI; Good Sports program for sports clubs; identifying and targeting high-risk weekends; and hospital emergency department–based SBI. Primary outcomes based on routinely collected data were alcohol-related crime, traffic crashes, and hospital inpatient admissions. Routinely collected data for the entire study period (2001–2009) were obtained in 2010. Secondary outcomes based on pre- and post-intervention surveys (n = 2,977 and 2,255, respectively) were the following: long-term risky drinking, short-term high-risk drinking, short-term risky drinking, weekly consumption, hazardous/harmful alcohol use, and experience of alcohol harm. At the 5% level of statistical significance, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the interventions were effective in the experimental, relative to control, communities for alcohol-related crime, traffic crashes, and hospital inpatient admissions, and for rates of risky alcohol consumption and hazardous/harmful alcohol use. Although respondents in the experimental communities reported statistically significantly lower average weekly consumption (1.90 fewer standard drinks per week, 95% CI = −3.37 to −0.43, p = 0.01) and less alcohol-related verbal abuse (odds ratio = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.96, p = 0.04) post-intervention, the low survey response rates (40% and 24% for the pre- and post-intervention surveys, respectively) require conservative interpretation. The main limitations of this study are as follows: (1) that the study may have been under-powered to detect differences in routinely collected data outcomes as statistically significant, and (2) the low survey response rates.
This RCT provides little evidence that community action significantly reduces risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms, other than potential reductions in self-reported average weekly consumption and experience of alcohol-related verbal abuse. Complementary legislative action may be required to more effectively reduce alcohol harms.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12607000123448
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
People have consumed alcoholic beverages throughout history, but alcohol use is now an increasing global public health problem. According to the World Health Organization's 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, alcohol use is the fifth leading risk factor (after high blood pressure and smoking) for disease and is responsible for 3.9% of the global disease burden. Alcohol use contributes to heart disease, liver disease, depression, some cancers, and many other health conditions. Alcohol also affects the well-being and health of people around those who drink, through alcohol-related crimes and road traffic crashes. The impact of alcohol use on disease and injury depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the pattern of drinking. Most guidelines define long-term risky drinking as more than four drinks per day on average for men or more than two drinks per day for women (a “drink” is, roughly speaking, a can of beer or a small glass of wine), and short-term risky drinking (also called binge drinking) as seven or more drinks on a single occasion for men or five or more drinks on a single occasion for women. However, recent changes to the Australian guidelines acknowledge that a lower level of alcohol consumption is considered risky (with lifetime risky drinking defined as more than two drinks a day and binge drinking defined as more than four drinks on one occasion).
Why Was This Study Done?
In 2010, the World Health Assembly endorsed a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. This strategy emphasizes the importance of community action–a process in which a community defines its own needs and determines the actions that are required to meet these needs. Although community action is highly acceptable to community members, few studies have looked at the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm. Here, the researchers undertake a cluster randomized controlled trial (the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities [AARC] project) to quantify the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption and harms in rural communities in Australia. A cluster randomized trial compares outcomes in clusters of people (here, communities) who receive alternative interventions assigned through the play of chance.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers pair-matched 20 rural Australian communities according to the proportion of their population that was Aboriginal (rates of alcohol-related harm are disproportionately higher among Aboriginal individuals than among non-Aboriginal individuals in Australia; they are also higher among young people and males, but the proportions of these two groups across communities was comparable). They randomly assigned one member of each pair to the experimental group and implemented 13 interventions in these communities by negotiating with key individuals in each community to define and implement each intervention. Examples of interventions included general practitioner training in screening for alcohol use disorders and in implementing a brief intervention, and a school-based interactive session designed to reduce alcohol harm among young people. The researchers quantified the effectiveness of the interventions using routinely collected data on alcohol-related crime and road traffic crashes, and on hospital inpatient admissions for alcohol dependence or abuse (which were expected to increase in the experimental group if the intervention was effective because of more people seeking or being referred for treatment). They also examined drinking habits and experiences of alcohol-related harm, such as verbal abuse, among community members using pre- and post-intervention surveys. After implementation of the interventions, the rates of alcohol-related crime, road traffic crashes, and hospital admissions, and of risky and hazardous/harmful alcohol consumption (measured using a validated tool called the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) were not statistically significantly different in the experimental and control communities (a difference in outcomes that is not statistically significantly different can occur by chance). However, the reported average weekly consumption of alcohol was 20% lower in the experimental communities after the intervention than in the control communities (equivalent to 1.9 fewer standard drinks per week per respondent) and there was less alcohol-related verbal abuse post-intervention in the experimental communities than in the control communities.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide little evidence that community action reduced risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms in rural Australian communities. Although there was some evidence of significant reductions in self-reported weekly alcohol consumption and in experiences of alcohol-related verbal abuse, these findings must be interpreted cautiously because they are based on surveys with very low response rates. A larger or differently designed study might provide statistically significant evidence for the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption. However, given their findings, the researchers suggest that legislative approaches that are beyond the control of individual communities, such as alcohol taxation and restrictions on alcohol availability, may be required to effectively reduce alcohol harms. In other words, community action alone may not be the most effective way to reduce alcohol-related harm.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization provides detailed information about alcohol; its fact sheet on alcohol includes information about the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol; the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health provides further information about alcohol, including information on control policies around the world
The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has information about alcohol and its effects on health
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a website on alcohol and public health that includes information on the health risks of excessive drinking
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about drinking and alcohol, including information on the risks of drinking too much, tools for calculating alcohol consumption, and personal stories about alcohol use problems
MedlinePlus provides links to many other resources on alcohol
More information about the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities project is available
PMCID: PMC3949675  PMID: 24618831
6.  Internet-based group contingency management to promote abstinence from cigarette smoking: A feasibility study 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2011;118(1):23-30.
In contingency management (CM) interventions, monetary consequences are contingent on evidence of drug abstinence. Typically, these consequences are contingent on individual performance. Consequences contingent on group performance may promote social support (e.g., praise).
Thus, to combine social support with the monetary incentives of CM, we integrated independent and interdependent group contingencies of reinforcement into an Internet-based intervention to promote smoking abstinence. Breath carbon monoxide (CO) measures were compared between treatment conditions and a baseline control condition. Thirteen participants were divided into 5 groups or “teams” (n = 2–3 per team). Each participant submitted video recordings of CO measurement twice daily via the Internet. Teammates could monitor each other’s progress and communicate with one another through an online peer support forum. During a 4-day tapering condition, vouchers exchangeable for goods were contingent on gradual reductions in breath CO. During a 10-day abstinence induction condition, vouchers were contingent on abstinence (CO ≤4 ppm). In both treatment conditions, concurrent independent and interdependent group contingencies were arranged (i.e., a mixed contingency arrangement).
Less than 1% of CO samples submitted during baseline were ≤4 ppm, compared to 57% submitted during abstinence induction. Sixty-five percent of participants’ comments on the online peer support forum were rated as positive by independent observers. Participants rated the intervention favorably on a treatment acceptability questionnaire.
The results suggest that the intervention is feasible and acceptable for promoting abstinence from cigarette smoking.
PMCID: PMC3144260  PMID: 21414733
Smoking; Cigarette; Internet; Group; Contingency management; Incentives
7.  Investigating Group Contingencies to Promote Brief Abstinence from Cigarette Smoking 
In contingency management (CM), monetary incentives are contingent on evidence of drug abstinence. Typically, incentives (e.g., “vouchers” exchangeable for goods or services) are contingent on individual performance. We programmed vouchers contingent on group performance to investigate whether these contingencies would promote brief abstinence from cigarette smoking. Thirty-two participants were divided into small teams (n = 3 per team). During three 5-day within-subject experimental conditions, participants submitted video recordings of breath carbon monoxide (CO) measures twice daily via Mōtiv8 Systems™, an Internet-based remote monitoring application. During the interdependent contingency condition, participants earned vouchers each time they and their teammates submitted breath CO samples indicative of abstinence (i.e., negative samples). During the independent contingency condition, participants earned vouchers each time they submitted negative samples, regardless of their teammates' performance. During the no vouchers condition, no monetary incentives were contingent on abstinence. In addition, half of the participants (n = 16) could communicate with their teammates through an online peer support forum. Although forum access did not appear to promote smoking abstinence, monetary incentives did promote brief abstinence. Significantly more negative samples were submitted when vouchers were contingent on individual performance (56%) or team performance (53%) relative to when no vouchers were available (35%; F = 6.9, p = 0.002). The results show that interdependent contingencies can promote brief abstinence from cigarette smoking. Moreover, the results suggest that these contingencies may help lower treatment costs and promote social support.
PMCID: PMC3657835  PMID: 23421358
contingency management; incentive; group contingency; cigarette; social support
8.  Maintenance of reinforcement to address the chronic nature of drug addiction 
Preventive medicine  2012;55(Suppl):S46-S53.
Drug addiction can be a chronic problem. Abstinence reinforcement can initiate drug abstinence, but as with other treatments many patients relapse after the intervention ends. Abstinence reinforcement can be maintained to promote long-term drug abstinence, but practical means of implementing long-term abstinence reinforcement are needed.
We reviewed 8 clinical trials conducted in Baltimore, MD from 1996 through 2010 that evaluated the therapeutic workplace as a vehicle for maintaining reinforcement for the treatment of drug addiction. The therapeutic workplace uses employment-based reinforcement in which employees must provide objective evidence of drug abstinence or medication adherence to work and earn wages.
Employment-based reinforcement can initiate (3 of 4 studies) and maintain (2 studies) cocaine abstinence in methadone patients, although relapse can occur even after long-term exposure to abstinence reinforcement (1 study). Employment-based reinforcement can also promote abstinence from alcohol in homeless alcohol dependent adults (1 study), and maintain adherence to extended-release naltrexone in opioid dependent adults (2 studies).
Treatments should seek to promote life-long effects in patients. Therapeutic reinforcement may need to be maintained indefinitely to prevent relapse. Workplaces could be effective vehicles for the maintenance of therapeutic reinforcement contingencies for drug abstinence and adherence to addiction medications.
PMCID: PMC3437006  PMID: 22668883
Reinforcement; Incentives; Contingency Management; Cocaine; Heroin; Drug Addiction; Treatment; Employment; Poverty; Relapse
9.  A Contingency-Management Intervention to Promote Initial Smoking Cessation Among Opioid-Maintained Patients 
Prevalence of cigarette smoking among opioid-maintained patients is more than threefold that of the general population and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Relatively few studies have evaluated smoking interventions in this population. The purpose of the present study was to examine the efficacy of contingency management for promoting initial smoking abstinence. Forty methadone- or buprenorphine-maintained cigarette smokers were randomly assigned to a contingent (n = 20) or noncontingent (n = 20) experimental group and visited the clinic for 14 consecutive days. Contingent participants received vouchers based on breath carbon monoxide levels during Study Days 1 to 5 and urinary cotinine levels during Days 6 to 14. Voucher earnings began at $9.00 and increased by $1.50 with each subsequent negative sample for maximum possible of $362.50. Noncontingent participants earned vouchers independent of smoking status. Although not a primary focus, participants who were interested and medically eligible could also receive bupropion (Zyban). Contingent participants achieved significantly more initial smoking abstinence, as evidenced by a greater percentage of smoking-negative samples (55% vs. 17%) and longer duration of continuous abstinence (7.7 vs. 2.4 days) during the 2 week quit attempt than noncontingent participants, respectively. Bupropion did not significantly influence abstinence outcomes. Results from this randomized clinical trial support the efficacy of contingency management interventions in promoting initial smoking abstinence in this challenging population.
PMCID: PMC3605744  PMID: 20158293
contingency management; smoking cessation; methadone; buprenorphine; bupropion
10.  Systematic Review of Abstinence-Plus HIV Prevention Programs in High-Income Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(9):e275.
Abstinence-plus (comprehensive) interventions promote sexual abstinence as the best means of preventing HIV, but also encourage condom use and other safer-sex practices. Some critics of abstinence-plus programs have suggested that promoting safer sex along with abstinence may undermine abstinence messages or confuse program participants; conversely, others have suggested that promoting abstinence might undermine safer-sex messages. We conducted a systematic review to investigate the effectiveness of abstinence-plus interventions for HIV prevention among any participants in high-income countries as defined by the World Bank.
Methods and Findings
Cochrane Collaboration systematic review methods were used. We included randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of abstinence-plus programs for HIV prevention among any participants in any high-income country; trials were included if they reported behavioural or biological outcomes. We searched 30 electronic databases without linguistic or geographical restrictions to February 2007, in addition to contacting experts, hand-searching conference abstracts, and cross-referencing papers. After screening 20,070 abstracts and 325 full published and unpublished papers, we included 39 trials that included approximately 37,724 North American youth. Programs were based in schools (10), community facilities (24), both schools and community facilities (2), health care facilities (2), and family homes (1). Control groups varied. All outcomes were self-reported. Quantitative synthesis was not possible because of heterogeneity across trials in programs and evaluation designs. Results suggested that many abstinence-plus programs can reduce HIV risk as indicated by self-reported sexual behaviours. Of 39 trials, 23 found a protective program effect on at least one sexual behaviour, including abstinence, condom use, and unprotected sex (baseline n = 19,819). No trial found adverse program effects on any behavioural outcome, including incidence of sex, frequency of sex, sexual initiation, or condom use. This suggests that abstinence-plus approaches do not undermine program messages encouraging abstinence, nor do they undermine program messages encouraging safer sex. Findings consistently favoured abstinence-plus programs over controls for HIV knowledge outcomes, suggesting that abstinence-plus programs do not confuse participants. Results for biological outcomes were limited by floor effects. Three trials assessed self-reported diagnosis or treatment of sexually transmitted infection; none found significant effects. Limited evidence from seven evaluations suggested that some abstinence-plus programs can reduce pregnancy incidence. No trial observed an adverse biological program effect.
Many abstinence-plus programs appear to reduce short-term and long-term HIV risk behaviour among youth in high-income countries. Programs did not cause harm. Although generalisability may be somewhat limited to North American adolescents, these findings have critical implications for abstinence-based HIV prevention policies. Suggestions are provided for improving the conduct and reporting of trials of abstinence-plus and other behavioural interventions to prevent HIV.
In their systematic review, Underhill and colleagues found that abstinence-plus programs appear to reduce short-term and long-term HIV risk behavior among youth in high-income countries.
Editors' Summary
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, is most often spread through unprotected sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) with an infected partner. Individuals can reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV by abstaining from sex or delaying first sex, by being faithful to one partner or having few partners, and by always using a male or female condom. Various HIV prevention programs targeted at young people encourage these protective sexual behaviors. Abstinence-only programs (for example, Project Reality in the US) present no sex before marriage as the only means of reducing the risk of catching HIV. Abstinence-plus programs (for example, the UK Apause program) also promote sexual abstinence as the safest behavior choice to prevent HIV infection. However, recognizing that not everyone will remain abstinent, and that in many locations same-sex couples are not permitted to marry, abstinence-plus programs also encourage young people who do become sexually active to use condoms and other safer-sex strategies. Safer-sex programs, a third approach, teach people how to protect themselves from pregnancy and infections and might recommend delaying first sex until they are physically and emotionally ready, but do not promote sexual abstinence over safer-sex strategies such as condom use.
Why Was This Study Done?
There is considerable controversy, particularly in the US, about the relative merits of abstinence-based programs for HIV prevention. Abstinence-only programs, which the US government supports, have been criticized because they provide no information to protect participants who do become sexually active. Critics of abstinence-plus programs contend that teaching young people about safer sex undermines the abstinence message, confuses participants, and may encourage them to become sexually active. Conversely, some people worry that the promotion of abstinence might undermine the safer-sex messages of abstinence-plus programs. Little has been done, however, to look methodically at how these programs change sexual behavior. In this study, the researchers have systematically reviewed studies of abstinence-plus interventions for HIV prevention in high-income countries to get an idea of their effect on sexual behavior.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In an extensive search for existing abstinence-plus studies, the researchers identified 39 trials done in high-income countries that compared the effects on sexual behavior of various abstinence-plus programs with the effects of no intervention or of other interventions designed to prevent HIV infection. All the trials met strict preset criteria (for example, trial participants had to have an unknown or negative HIV status), and all studies meeting the criteria turned out to involve young people in the US, Canada, or the Bahamas, nearly 40,000 participants in total. In 23 of the trials, the abstinence-plus program studied was found to improve at least one self-reported protective sexual behavior (for example, it increased abstinence or condom use) when compared to the other interventions in the trial; none of the trials reported a significant negative effect on any behavioral outcome. Limited evidence from a few trials indicated that some abstinence-plus programs reduced pregnancy rates, providing a biological indicator of program effectiveness. Conversely, there were no indications of adverse biological outcomes such as an increased occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases in any of the trials.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that some abstinence-plus programs reduce HIV risk behavior among young people in North America. Importantly, the findings do not uncover evidence of any abstinence-plus program causing harm. That is, fears that these programs might encourage young people to become sexually active earlier or confuse them about the use of condoms for HIV prevention seem unfounded. These findings may not apply to all abstinence-plus programs in high-income countries, do not include low-income countries, do not specifically address nonheterosexual risk behavior, and are subject to limited reliability in self-reporting of sexual activity by young people. Nonetheless, this analysis provides support for the use of abstinence-plus programs, particularly in light of another systematic review by the same authors (A systematic review of abstinence-only programs for prevention of HIV infection, published in the British Medical Journal), which found that abstinence-only programs did not reduce pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual behaviors that increase HIV risk. Abstinence-plus programs, these findings suggest, represent a reasonable strategy for HIV prevention among young people in high-income countries.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
• US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases fact sheet on HIV infection and AIDS
• Information from the UK charity AVERT on all aspects of HIV and AIDS, including HIV and AIDS prevention
• US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on HIV/AIDS among young people (in English and Spanish)
• Information on Project Reality, a US abstinence-only program
• Information on Reducing the Risk and on Apause, US and UK abstinence-plus programs, respectively
PMCID: PMC1976624  PMID: 17880259
11.  Employment-Based Reinforcement of Adherence to Oral Naltrexone Treatment in Unemployed Injection Drug Users 
Naltrexone has high potential for use as a relapse prevention pharmacotherapy for opiate dependence; however suffers from notoriously poor adherence when prescribed for oral self-administration. This study evaluated whether entry to a therapeutic workplace could be used to reinforce adherence with oral naltrexone. Opiate-dependent and cocaine-using injection drug users were detoxified, inducted onto oral naltrexone, and randomly assigned to a Contingency (n=35) or Prescription (n=32) group for a 26-week period. Contingency participants were required to ingest naltrexone under staff observation to gain access to the therapeutic workplace. Prescription participants received a take-home supply of naltrexone and could access the workplace independent of naltrexone ingestion. Primary outcome measures were percent of urine samples positive for naltrexone at 30-day assessments and negative for opiates and cocaine at 30-day assessments. Contingency participants provided significantly more urine samples that were positive for naltrexone compared to Prescription participants (72% vs. 21%, P<.01), however no effect of experimental group was observed on percent opiate-negative (71% vs. 60%, P=.19.) or cocaine-negative (56% vs. 53%, P=.82) samples in the Contingency and Prescription groups, respectively. Opiate-positive samples were significantly more likely to occur in conjunction with cocaine (P<.001), and when not protected by naltrexone (P<.02), independent of experimental group. Overall, these results show that contingent access to a therapeutic workplace significantly promoted adherence to oral naltrexone, and that the majority of opiate use occurred in conjunction with cocaine use, suggesting that untreated cocaine use may limit the effectiveness of oral naltrexone in promoting opiate abstinence.
PMCID: PMC3641088  PMID: 23205722
naltrexone; contingency management; therapeutic workplace; incentive; injection drug use
12.  Empowering employees with chronic diseases; development of an intervention aimed at job retention and design of a randomised controlled trial 
Persons with a chronic disease are less often employed than healthy persons. If employed, many of them experience problems at work. Therefore, we developed a training programme aimed at job retention. The objective of this paper is to describe this intervention and to present the design of a study to evaluate its effectiveness.
Development and description of intervention
A systematic review, a needs assessment and discussions with Dutch experts led to a pilot group training, tested in a pilot study. The evaluation resulted in the development of a seven-session group training combined with three individual counselling sessions. The training is based on an empowerment perspective that aims to help individuals enhance knowledge, skills and self-awareness. These advances are deemed necessary for problem solving in three stages: exploration and clarification of work related problems, communication at the workplace, and development and implementation of solutions. Seven themes are discussed and practised in the group sessions: 1) Consequences of a chronic disease in the workplace, 2) Insight into feelings and thoughts about having a chronic disease, 3) Communication in daily work situations, 4) Facilities for disabled employees and work disability legislation, 5) How to stand up for oneself, 6) A plan to solve problems, 7) Follow-up.
Participants are recruited via occupational health services, patient organisations, employers, and a yearly national conference on chronic diseases. They are eligible when they have a chronic physical medical condition, have a paid job, and experience problems at work. Workers on long-term, 100% sick leave that is expected to continue during the training are excluded. After filling in the baseline questionnaire, the participants are randomised to either the control or the intervention group. The control group will receive no care or care as usual. Post-test mail questionnaires will be sent after 4, 8, 12 and 24 months. Primary outcome measures are job retention, self efficacy, fatigue and work pleasure. Secondary outcome measures are work-related problems, sick leave, quality of life, acquired work accommodations, burnout, and several quality of work measures. A process evaluation will be conducted and satisfaction with the training, its components and the training methods will be assessed.
Many employees with a chronic condition experience problems in performing tasks and in managing social relations at work. We developed an innovative intervention that addresses practical as well as psychosocial problems. The results of the study will be relevant for employees, employers, occupational health professionals and human resource professionals (HRM).
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC2614990  PMID: 18983652
13.  Contingent payment procedures for smoking reduction and cessation. 
We assessed the ability of a combined contingent reinforcement and intensive monitoring procedure to promote and sustain temporary smoking cessation among 34 hired research volunteers, and the ability of a smoking reduction test to predict the subsequent initiation of abstinence. During the 5-day cutdown test, subjects were paid from $0 to $6 per day depending on the extent of reduction from baseline CO levels. During the abstinence test, breath samples were obtained three times daily and subjects were paid $4 for each CO reading less than or equal to 11 ppm. Sixty-eight percent of subjects initiated abstinence. Of the breath samples collected during the abstinence test (91% of scheduled samples), 96.5% were less than or equal to 11 ppm and 80.5% were less than or equal to 8 ppm. Subjects who earned more money during the cutdown test were more likely to abstain (r = -0.51, p less than .001). Contingent reinforcement and intensive monitoring procedures appear to have usefulness for analog studies of smoking reduction and cessation.
PMCID: PMC1308058  PMID: 3733589
14.  Contingency management for behavior change: Applications to promote brief smoking cessation among opioid-maintained patients 
Cigarette smoking is highly prevalent among patients who are being treated for opioid-dependence, yet there have been limited scientific efforts to promote smoking cessation in this population. Contingency management (CM) is a behavioral treatment that provides monetary incentives (available in the form of vouchers) contingent upon biochemical evidence of drug abstinence. This paper discusses the results of two studies that utilized CM to promote brief smoking cessation among opioid-maintained patients. Participants in a pilot study were randomly assigned for a 2-week period to a Contingent group that earned monetary vouchers for providing biochemical samples that met criteria for smoking abstinence, or a Noncontingent group that earned monetary vouchers independent of smoking status (Dunn et al., 2008). Results showed Contingent participants provided significantly more smoking-negative samples than Noncontingent participants (55% vs. 5%, respectively). A second randomized trial that utilized the same 2-week intervention and provided access to the smoking cessation pharmacotherapy bupropion replicated the results of the pilot study (55% and 17% abstinence in Contingent and Noncontingent groups, respectively). A nonsignificant trend suggested bupropion may have contributed to smoking abstinence (Dunn et al, 2010). For both studies high rates of relapse to smoking were observed after the intervention ended; however, the results compare favorably to previous pharmacological and behavioral smoking cessation interventions and provide evidence that opioid-maintained patients can achieve a brief period of continuous smoking abstinence. Relapse to illicit drug use was also evaluated prospectively and no evidence that smoking abstinence was associated with a relapse to illicit drug use was observed (Dunn et al., 2009). It will be important for future studies to evaluate participant characteristics that might predict better treatment outcome, to assess the contribution that pharmacotherapies might have alone or in combination with a CM intervention on smoking cessation and to evaluate methods for maintaining the abstinence that is achieved during this brief intervention for longer periods of time.
PMCID: PMC3131670  PMID: 21341920
contingency management; smoking cessation; methadone; buprenorphine; smoking
15.  Team Awareness, Problem Drinking, and Drinking Climate: Workplace Social Health Promotion in a Policy Context 
(1) To determine the effectiveness of classroom health promotion/prevention training designed to improve work climate and alcohol outcomes; (2) to assess whether such training contributes to improvements in problem drinking beyond standard workplace alcohol policies.
A cross-sectional survey assessed employee problem drinking across three time periods. This was followed by a prevention intervention study; work groups were randomly assigned to an 8-hour training course in workplace social health promotion (Team Awareness), a 4-hour informational training course, or a control group. Surveys were administered 2 to 4 weeks before and after training and 6 months after posttest.
Setting and Subjects
Employees were surveyed from work departments in a large municipality of 3000 workers at three points in time (year, sample, and response rates are shown): (1) 1992, n = 1081, 95%; (2) 1995, n = 856, 97%; and (3) 1999, n = 587, 73%. Employees in the 1999 survey were recruited from safety-sensitive departments and were randomly assigned to receive the psychosocial (n = 201), informational (n = 192), or control (n = 194) condition.
The psychosocial program (Team Awareness) provided skills training in peer referral, team building, and stress management. Informational training used a didactic review of policy, employee assistance, and drug testing.
Self-reports measured alcohol use (frequency, drunkenness, hangovers, and problems) and work drinking climate (enabling, responsiveness, drinking norms, stigma, and drink with coworkers).
Employees receiving Team Awareness reduced problem drinking from 20% to 11% and working with or missing work because of a hangover from 16% to 6%. Information-trained workers also reduced problem drinking from 18% to 10%. These rates of change contrast with changes in problem drinking seen from 1992 (24%) to 1999 (17%). Team Awareness improvements differed significantly from control subjects, which showed no change at 13%. Employees receiving Team Awareness also showed significant improvements in drinking climate. For example, scores on the measure of coworker enabling decreased from pretest (mean = 2.19) to posttest (mean = 2.05) and follow up (mean = 1.94). Posttest measures of drinking climate also predicted alcohol outcomes at 6 months.
Employers should consider the use of prevention programming as an enhancement to standard drug-free workplace efforts. Team Awareness training targets work group social health, aligns with employee assistance efforts, and contributes to reductions in problem drinking.
PMCID: PMC3177956  PMID: 15559710
Alcohol; Policy; Prevention; Prevention Research; Experiment
16.  A Multifaceted Intervention to Implement Guidelines and Improve Admission Paediatric Care in Kenyan District Hospitals: A Cluster Randomised Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(4):e1001018.
Philip Ayieko and colleagues report the outcomes of a cluster-randomized trial carried out in eight Kenyan district hospitals evaluating the effects of a complex intervention involving improved training and supervision for clinicians. They found a higher performance of hospitals assigned to the complex intervention on a variety of process of care measures, as compared to those receiving the control intervention.
In developing countries referral of severely ill children from primary care to district hospitals is common, but hospital care is often of poor quality. However, strategies to change multiple paediatric care practices in rural hospitals have rarely been evaluated.
Methods and Findings
This cluster randomized trial was conducted in eight rural Kenyan district hospitals, four of which were randomly assigned to a full intervention aimed at improving quality of clinical care (evidence-based guidelines, training, job aides, local facilitation, supervision, and face-to-face feedback; n = 4) and the remaining four to control intervention (guidelines, didactic training, job aides, and written feedback; n = 4). Prespecified structure, process, and outcome indicators were measured at baseline and during three and five 6-monthly surveys in control and intervention hospitals, respectively. Primary outcomes were process of care measures, assessed at 18 months postbaseline.
In both groups performance improved from baseline. Completion of admission assessment tasks was higher in intervention sites at 18 months (mean = 0.94 versus 0.65, adjusted difference 0.54 [95% confidence interval 0.05–0.29]). Uptake of guideline recommended therapeutic practices was also higher within intervention hospitals: adoption of once daily gentamicin (89.2% versus 74.4%; 17.1% [8.04%–26.1%]); loading dose quinine (91.9% versus 66.7%, 26.3% [−3.66% to 56.3%]); and adequate prescriptions of intravenous fluids for severe dehydration (67.2% versus 40.6%; 29.9% [10.9%–48.9%]). The proportion of children receiving inappropriate doses of drugs in intervention hospitals was lower (quinine dose >40 mg/kg/day; 1.0% versus 7.5%; −6.5% [−12.9% to 0.20%]), and inadequate gentamicin dose (2.2% versus 9.0%; −6.8% [−11.9% to −1.6%]).
Specific efforts are needed to improve hospital care in developing countries. A full, multifaceted intervention was associated with greater changes in practice spanning multiple, high mortality conditions in rural Kenyan hospitals than a partial intervention, providing one model for bridging the evidence to practice gap and improving admission care in similar settings.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN42996612
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
In 2008, nearly 10 million children died in early childhood. Nearly all these deaths were in low- and middle-income countries—half were in Africa. In Kenya, for example, 74 out every 1,000 children born died before they reached their fifth birthday. About half of all childhood (pediatric) deaths in developing countries are caused by pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria. Deaths from these common diseases could be prevented if all sick children had access to quality health care in the community (“primary” health care provided by health centers, pharmacists, family doctors, and traditional healers) and in district hospitals (“secondary” health care). Unfortunately, primary health care facilities in developing countries often lack essential diagnostic capabilities and drugs, and pediatric hospital care is frequently inadequate with many deaths occurring soon after admission. Consequently, in 1996, as part of global efforts to reduce childhood illnesses and deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) introduced the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) strategy. This approach to child health focuses on the well-being of the whole child and aims to improve the case management skills of health care staff at all levels, health systems, and family and community health practices.
Why Was This Study Done?
The implementation of IMCI has been evaluated at the primary health care level, but its implementation in district hospitals has not been evaluated. So, for example, interventions designed to encourage the routine use of WHO disease-specific guidelines in rural pediatric hospitals have not been tested. In this cluster randomized trial, the researchers develop and test a multifaceted intervention designed to improve the implementation of treatment guidelines and admission pediatric care in district hospitals in Kenya. In a cluster randomized trial, groups of patients rather than individual patients are randomly assigned to receive alternative interventions and the outcomes in different “clusters” of patients are compared. In this trial, each cluster is a district hospital.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly assigned eight Kenyan district hospitals to the “full” or “control” intervention, interventions that differed in intensity but that both included more strategies to promote implementation of best practice than are usually applied in Kenyan rural hospitals. The full intervention included provision of clinical practice guidelines and training in their use, six-monthly survey-based hospital assessments followed by face-to-face feedback of survey findings, 5.5 days training for health care workers, provision of job aids such as structured pediatric admission records, external supervision, and the identification of a local facilitator to promote guideline use and to provide on-site problem solving. The control intervention included the provision of clinical practice guidelines (without training in their use) and job aids, six-monthly surveys with written feedback, and a 1.5-day lecture-based seminar to explain the guidelines. The researchers compared the implementation of various processes of care (activities of patients and doctors undertaken to ensure delivery of care) in the intervention and control hospitals at baseline and 18 months later. The performance of both groups of hospitals improved during the trial but more markedly in the intervention hospitals than in the control hospitals. At 18 months, the completion of admission assessment tasks and the uptake of guideline-recommended clinical practices were both higher in the intervention hospitals than in the control hospitals. Moreover, a lower proportion of children received inappropriate doses of drugs such as quinine for malaria in the intervention hospitals than in the control hospitals.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that specific efforts are needed to improve pediatric care in rural Kenya and suggest that interventions that include more approaches to changing clinical practice may be more effective than interventions that include fewer approaches. These findings are limited by certain aspects of the trial design, such as the small number of participating hospitals, and may not be generalizable to other hospitals in Kenya or to hospitals in other developing countries. Thus, although these findings seem to suggest that efforts to implement and scale up improved secondary pediatric health care will need to include more than the production and dissemination of printed materials, further research including trials or evaluation of test programs are necessary before widespread adoption of any multifaceted approach (which will need to be tailored to local conditions and available resources) can be contemplated.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
WHO provides information on efforts to reduce global child mortality and on Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI); the WHO pocket book “Hospital care for children contains guidelines for the management of common illnesses with limited resources (available in several languages)
UNICEF also provides information on efforts to reduce child mortality and detailed statistics on child mortality
The iDOC Africa Web site, which is dedicated to improving the delivery of hospital care for children and newborns in Africa, provides links to the clinical guidelines and other resources used in this study
PMCID: PMC3071366  PMID: 21483712
17.  Individualized Assessment and Treatment Program for Alcohol Dependence: Results of an Initial Study to Train Coping Skills 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2009;104(11):1837-1838.
Cognitive-behavioral treatments (CBT) are among the most popular interventions offered for alcohol and other substance use disorders, but it is not clear how they achieve their effects. CBT is purported to exert its beneficial effects by altering coping skills, but data supporting coping changes as the mechanism of action are mixed. The purpose of this pilot study was to test a treatment in which coping skills were trained in a highly individualized way, allowing us to determine if such training would result in an effective treatment.
Participants were assigned randomly to a comprehensive packaged CBT program (PCBT), or to an Individualized Assessment and Treatment Program (IATP). The IATP program employed experience sampling via cellphone to assess coping skills prior to treatment, and provided therapists a detailed understanding of patients' coping strengths and deficits.
Outpatient treatment.
A total of 110 alcohol dependent men and women.
Participants in both conditions completed experience sampling of situations, drinking and coping efforts prior to, and following, 12 weeks of treatment. Timeline follow-back procedures were also used to record drinking at baseline and posttreatment.
IATP yielded higher proportion days abstinent (PDA) at posttreatment (p < .05) than did PCBT, and equivalent heavy drinking days. IATP also elicited more momentary coping responses, and less drinking, in high risk situations, as recorded by experience sampling at posttreatment. Posttreatment coping response rates were associated with decreases in drinking.
The IATP approach was more successful than PCBT at training adaptive coping responses for use in situations presenting high-risk for drinking. The highly individualized IATP approach may prove to be an effective treatment strategy for alcohol dependent patients.
PMCID: PMC2763044  PMID: 19712124
Individualized treatment; CBT; experience sampling; coping skills
18.  Contingency management delivered by community therapists in outpatient settings* 
Drug and Alcohol Dependence  2011;122(1-2):86-92.
Few community-based clinicians have been trained to deliver contingency management (CM) treatments, and little data exist regarding the efficacy of CM when administered by clinicians.
Fifteen clinicians from four intensive outpatient treatment programs received training in CM. Following a didactics seminar and a period in which clinicians delivered CM to pilot patients while receiving weekly supervision, clinicians treated 43 patients randomized to standard care or CM, without supervision. In both treatment conditions, urine and breath samples were collected up to twice weekly for 12 weeks, and CM patients earned the opportunity to win prizes ranging in value from $1 to $100 for submitting drug-free samples. Primary treatment outcomes were sessions attended, unexcused absences, longest continuous period of abstinence, and proportion of negative samples submitted.
All therapists completed the training and supervision phase, and 10 treated randomized patients. Patients randomized to CM achieved significantly greater durations of abstinence than patients randomized to standard care (5.0 ± 3.8 versus 2.6 ± 3.7 weeks) and had fewer unexcused absences (4.3 ± 1.2 versus 8.1 ± 5.4), but proportion of negative samples submitted and attendance did not differ significantly between groups. Therapist adherence and competence in CM delivery decreased when supervision was no longer provided, and competence in CM delivery was associated with duration of abstinence achieved and attendance.
Community-based clinicians can effectively administer CM, and outcomes relate to competence in CM delivery. These data call for further training and supervision of community clinicians in this evidence-based treatment.
PMCID: PMC3290694  PMID: 21981991
contingency management; therapist; community clinics; training
19.  Towards Cost Effective Initial Care for Substance Abusing Homeless 
In a randomized controlled trial, behavioral day treatment, including contingency management (CM+), was compared to contingency management components alone (CM). All 206 cocaine dependent, homeless participants received a furnished apartment with food and work training/employment contingent on drug-negative urine tests. CM+ also received cognitive behavioral therapy, therapeutic goal management, and other intervention components. Results revealed that CM+ treatment attendance and abstinence were not significantly different from CM during 24 weeks of treatment. After treatment and contingencies ended, however, CM+ showed more abstinence than CM, indicating a delayed effect of treatment from 6 to 18 months. CM+ had more consecutive weeks abstinent across 52 weeks, but not during active treatment. We conclude that CM alone may be viable as initial care for cocaine dependent homeless persons. That CM+ yields more durable abstinence indicates it may be appropriate as stepped up care for clients not responding to CM. Clinical #NCT00368524
PMCID: PMC2764243  PMID: 17512156
20.  A randomized trial of contingency management delivered by community therapists 
Contingency management (CM) is an evidence-based treatment, but few clinicians deliver this intervention in community-based settings.
Twenty-three clinicians from three methadone maintenance clinics received training in CM. Following a didactics seminar and a training and supervision period in which clinicians delivered CM to pilot patients, a randomized trial evaluated the efficacy of CM when delivered entirely by clinicians. Sixteen clinicians treated 130 patients randomized to CM or standard care. In both conditions, urine and breath samples were collected twice weekly for 12 weeks. In the CM condition, patients earned the opportunity to win prizes ranging in value from $1 to $100 for submitting samples negative for cocaine and alcohol. Primary treatment outcomes were retention, longest continuous period of abstinence, and proportion of negative samples submitted.
Patients randomized to CM remained in the study longer (9.5 ± 3.6 versus 6.7 ± 5.0 weeks), achieved greater durations of abstinence (4.7 ± 4.7 versus 1.7 ± 2.7 weeks), and submitted a higher proportion of negative samples (57.7% ± 40.0% versus 29.4% ± 33.3%) than those assigned to standard care.
These data indicate that, with appropriate training, community-based clinicians can effectively administer CM. This study suggests that resources ought to be directed toward training and supervising community-based providers in delivering CM, as patient outcomes can be significantly improved by integrating CM in methadone clinics.
PMCID: PMC3725552  PMID: 22250852
contingency management; therapist; community clinics; training
21.  Motivational Incentives Research in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network 
Journal of substance abuse treatment  2010;38(Suppl 1):S61-S69.
The purpose of this paper is to review both main findings and secondary analyses from studies of abstinence incentives conducted in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). Previous research has supported the efficacy of tangible incentives provided contingent on evidence of recent drug abstinence. CTN conducted the first multi-site effectiveness trial of this novel intervention. Study participants were stimulant abusers (N = 803) participating in treatment at 14 clinical sites and randomly assigned to treatment as usual (TAU) with or without a prize draw incentive program. Study participants could earn up to $400 over 3 months for submission of drug- urine and breath (BAL) specimens. 3-month retention was significantly improved by incentives offered to psychosocial counseling clients (50% incentive vs 35% control retained) while on-going stimulant drug use was significantly reduced in methadone maintenance clients (54.4% incentive vs 38.7% control samples testing stimulant negative). In both settings, duration of continuous abstinence achieved was improved in the incentive condition. These studies support effectiveness of one abstinence incentive intervention and highlight the different outcomes that can be expected with application in methadone maintenance versus psychosocial counseling treatment settings. Secondary analyses have shown the importance of early treatment positive versus negative urine screens in moderating the outcome of abstinence incentives and have explored both safety and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Implications for the use of motivational incentive methods in clinical practice are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2866424  PMID: 20307797
22.  Antisocial Personality Disorder Predicts Methamphetamine Treatment Outcomes in Homeless, Substance-dependent Men Who Have Sex with Men 
One-hundred-thirty-one homeless, substance-dependent MSM were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of a contingency management (CM) intervention for reducing substance use and increasing healthy behavior. Participants were randomized into conditions that either provided additional rewards for substance abstinence and/or health-promoting/prosocial behaviors (“CM-Full”; n = 64) or for study compliance and attendance only (“CM-Lite”; n = 67). The purpose of this secondary analysis was to determine the affect of ASPD status on two primary study outcomes: methamphetamine abstinence, and engagement in prosocial/health-promoting behavior. Analyses revealed that individuals with ASPD provided more methamphetamine-negative urine samples (37.5%) than participants without ASPD (30.6%). When controlling for participant sociodemographics and condition assignment, the magnitude of this predicted difference increases to 10% and reached statistical significance (p < .05). On average, participants with ASPD earned fewer vouchers for health-promoting/prosocial behaviors than participants without ASPD ($10.21 [SD=$7.02] vs. $18.38 [SD=$13.60]; p < .01). Participants with ASPD displayed superior methamphetamine abstinence outcomes regardless of CM schedule; even with potentially unlimited positive reinforcement, individuals with ASPD displayed suboptimal outcomes in achieving health-promoting/prosocial behaviors.
PMCID: PMC3714361  PMID: 23579078
Antisocial Personality Disorder; Substance Use; Contingency Management; Homeless; MSM
23.  Shaping Smoking Cessation In Hard-To-Treat Smokers 
Contingency management (CM) can effectively treat addictions by providing abstinence incentives. However, CM fails for many who do not readily meet the abstinence criterion and earn incentives. Shaping may improve outcomes in these hard-to-treat (HTT) individuals, as shaping sets intermediate criteria for incentive delivery between the present behavior and total abstinence. This should result in HTT having improving rather than poor outcomes throughout treatment. We examined if shaping improved outcomes in HTT smokers (those never abstinent during a 10-visit baseline).
Smokers were stratified into HTT (n=96) and easier-to-treat (n=50; ETT – those abstinent at least once during baseline), and randomly assigned to either standard CM or shaping (CMS). CM provided incentives for breath carbon monoxide (CO) levels < 4 ppm (approximately 1-day of abstinence). CMS shaped abstinence by providing incentives for CO levels lower than the 7th lowest of the participant’s last 9 samples or < 4 ppm. Interventions lasted for 60 successive weekdays visits.
Cluster analysis identified four groups of participants: stable successes; improving; deteriorating; and poor outcomes. In comparison to ETT, HTT were more likely to belong to one of the two unsuccessful clusters (odds ratio (OR)=8.1, 95% CI [3.1, 21]). This difference between the HTT and the ETT was greater with CM (OR=42 [5.9, 307]) than with CMS where the difference between HTT and ETT was not significant. Assignment to CMS predicted membership in the improving (P=0.002) as compared to the poor outcomes cluster.
Shaping can increase the effectiveness of CM for HTT smokers.
PMCID: PMC3623283  PMID: 20099951
Smoking Cessation; Contingency Management; Shaping; Percentile Schedules
24.  An Internet-Based Abstinence Reinforcement Smoking Cessation Intervention in Rural Smokers 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2009;105(1-2):56-62.
The implementation of cigarette smoking abstinence reinforcement programs may be hindered by the time intensive burden placed on patients and treatment providers. The use of remote monitoring and reinforcement of smoking abstinence may enhance the accessibility and acceptability of this intervention, particularly in rural areas where transportation can be unreliable and treatment providers distant. This study determined the effectiveness of an Internet-based abstinence reinforcement intervention in initiating and maintaining smoking abstinence in rural smokers. Sixty-eight smokers were enrolled to evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-based smoking cessation program. During the 6-week intervention period, all participants were asked to record 2 videos of breath carbon monoxide (CO) samples daily. Participants also typed the value of their CO readings into web-based software that provided feedback and reinforcement based on their smoking status. Participants (n=35) in the Abstinence Contingent (AC) group received monetary incentives contingent on recent smoking abstinence (i.e., CO of 4 parts per million or below). Participants (n=33) in the Yoked Control (YC) group received monetary incentives independent of smoking status. Participants in the AC group were significantly more likely than the YC group to post negative CO samples on the study website (OR = 4.56; 95% CI = 2.18–9.52). Participants assigned to AC were also significantly more likely to achieve some level of continuous abstinence over the 6-week intervention compared to those assigned to YC. These results demonstrate the feasibility and short-term efficacy of delivering reinforcement for smoking abstinence over the Internet to rural populations.
PMCID: PMC2743786  PMID: 19615830
Abstinence Reinforcement; Smoking Cessation; Rural; Randomized Controlled Trial; Tobacco; Cigarettes
25.  Intervention for Homeless, Substance Abusing Mothers: Findings from a Non-Randomized Pilot 
Little empirically-based information is available regarding how best to intervene with substance-abusing homeless mothers. This study pilot-tested a comprehensive intervention with 15 homeless women and their 2- to 6-year-old children, recruited from a local family shelter. All participants were offered integrated intervention with three major components. The first component was housing which included 3 months of rental and utility assistance, and these services were not contingent upon women’s abstinence from drugs or alcohol. The second and third components included 6 months of case management services and an evidence-based substance abuse treatment (Community Reinforcement Approach; CRA). Analysis revealed that women showed reductions in substance use (F2,22 = 3.63; p < .05), homelessness (F2,24 = 25.31; p < .001), and mental health problems (F2,20 = 8.5; p < .01). Further, women reported reduced internalizing (F2,22 = 4.08; p < .05) and externalizing problems (F2,24 = 7.7; p = .01) among their children. The findings suggest that the intervention is a promising approach to meet the multiple needs of this vulnerable population. These positive outcomes support the need for future research to replicate the findings with a larger sample using a randomized design.
PMCID: PMC4297200  PMID: 22676629
homeless mothers; substance abuse; intervention

Results 1-25 (908410)