PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (151)
 

Clipboard (0)
None
Journals
more »
Year of Publication
Document Types
2.  Alcohol brief intervention for hospitalized veterans with hazardous drinking: protocol for a 3-arm randomized controlled efficacy trial 
Background
Various hospital accreditation and quality assurance entities in the United States have approved and endorsed performance measures promoting alcohol brief intervention (BI) for hospitalized individuals who screen positive for unhealthy alcohol use, the spectrum of use ranging from hazardous use to alcohol use disorders. These performance measures have been controversial due to the limited and equivocal evidence for the efficacy of BI among hospitalized individuals. The few BI trials conducted with hospital inpatients vary widely in methodological quality. While the majority of these studies indicate limited to no effects of BI in this population, none have been designed to account for the most pervasive methodological issue in BI studies presumed to drive study findings towards the null: assessment reactivity (AR).
Methods/Design
This is a three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial of BI for hospitalized patients at a large academic medical center affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who use alcohol at hazardous levels but do not have an alcohol use disorder. Participants are randomized to one of three study conditions. Study Arm 1 receives a three-part alcohol BI. Study Arm 2 receives attention control. To account for potential AR, Study Arm 3 receives AC with limited assessment. Primary outcomes will include the number of standard drinks/week and binge drinking episodes reported in the 30-day period prior to a final measurement visit obtained 6 months after hospital discharge. Additional outcomes will include readiness to change drinking behavior and number of adverse consequences of alcohol use. To assess differences in primary outcomes across the three arms, we will use mixed-effects regression models that account for a patient’s repeated measures over the timepoints and clustering within medical units. Intervention implementation will be assessed by: a) review of intervention audio recordings to characterize barriers to intervention fidelity; and b) feasibility of participant recruitment, enrollment, and follow-up.
Discussion
The results of this methodologically rigorous trial will provide greater justification for or against the use of BI performance measures in the inpatient setting and inform organizational responses to BI-related hospital accreditation and performance measures.
Trial registration
NCT01602172
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0033-6
PMCID: PMC4480647  PMID: 25968121
Inpatients; Risk reduction behavior; Drinking behavior; Alcohol drinking; Binge drinking; Brief intervention; Clinical trial; Assessment reactivity; Measurement effects
3.  Alcohol brief intervention for hospitalized veterans with hazardous drinking: protocol for a 3-arm randomized controlled efficacy trial 
Background
Various hospital accreditation and quality assurance entities in the United States have approved and endorsed performance measures promoting alcohol brief intervention (BI) for hospitalized individuals who screen positive for unhealthy alcohol use, the spectrum of use ranging from hazardous use to alcohol use disorders. These performance measures have been controversial due to the limited and equivocal evidence for the efficacy of BI among hospitalized individuals. The few BI trials conducted with hospital inpatients vary widely in methodological quality. While the majority of these studies indicate limited to no effects of BI in this population, none have been designed to account for the most pervasive methodological issue in BI studies presumed to drive study findings towards the null: assessment reactivity (AR).
Methods/Design
This is a three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial of BI for hospitalized patients at a large academic medical center affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who use alcohol at hazardous levels but do not have an alcohol use disorder. Participants are randomized to one of three study conditions. Study Arm 1 receives a three-part alcohol BI. Study Arm 2 receives attention control. To account for potential AR, Study Arm 3 receives AC with limited assessment. Primary outcomes will include the number of standard drinks/week and binge drinking episodes reported in the 30-day period prior to a final measurement visit obtained 6 months after hospital discharge. Additional outcomes will include readiness to change drinking behavior and number of adverse consequences of alcohol use. To assess differences in primary outcomes across the three arms, we will use mixed-effects regression models that account for a patient’s repeated measures over the timepoints and clustering within medical units. Intervention implementation will be assessed by: a) review of intervention audio recordings to characterize barriers to intervention fidelity; and b) feasibility of participant recruitment, enrollment, and follow-up.
Discussion
The results of this methodologically rigorous trial will provide greater justification for or against the use of BI performance measures in the inpatient setting and inform organizational responses to BI-related hospital accreditation and performance measures.
Trial registration
NCT01602172
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0033-6
PMCID: PMC4480647  PMID: 25968121
Inpatients; Risk reduction behavior; Drinking behavior; Alcohol drinking; Binge drinking; Brief intervention; Clinical trial; Assessment reactivity; Measurement effects
4.  Designer drugs 2015: assessment and management 
Recent designer drugs, also known as “legal highs,” include substituted cathinones (e.g., mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, often referred to as “bath salts”); synthetic cannabinoids (SCs; e.g., Spice); and synthetic hallucinogens (25I-NBOMe, or N-bomb). Compound availability has evolved rapidly to evade legal regulation and detection by routine drug testing. Young adults are the primary users, but trends are changing rapidly; use has become popular among members of the military. Acute toxicity is common and often manifests with a constellation of psychiatric and medical effects, which may be severe (e.g., anxiety, agitation, psychosis, and tachycardia), and multiple deaths have been reported with each of these types of designer drugs. Clinicians should keep designer drugs in mind when evaluating substance use in young adults or in anyone presenting with acute neuropsychiatric complaints. Treatment of acute intoxication involves supportive care targeting manifesting signs and symptoms. Long-term treatment of designer drug use disorder can be challenging and is complicated by a lack of evidence to guide treatment.
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0024-7
PMCID: PMC4422150  PMID: 25928069
Designer drugs; Legal high; Bath salts; Cathinones; Mephedrone; Methylone; Methylenedioxypyrovalerone; Synthetic cannabinoids; Spice; 25I-NBOMe; N-bomb; Hallucinogens
5.  Patient-centered feedback on the results of personality testing increases early engagement in residential substance use disorder treatment: a pilot randomized controlled trial 
Background
Patient-centered models of assessment have shown considerable promise for increasing patients’ readiness for mental health treatment in general, but have not been used to facilitate patients’ engagement in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. We developed a brief patient-centered intervention using assessment and feedback of personality data and examined its acceptability and efficacy to increase early engagement in residential SUD treatment.
Methods
Thirty patients entering a 90-day residential SUD treatment program were randomly assigned to a feedback (n = 17) or control (n = 13; assessment-only) condition. Normal-range personality was assessed with the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R). Patients were re-interviewed one month after treatment entry to obtain information on their satisfaction with the intervention, as well as their adjustment to the residential milieu. Electronic medical records were reviewed to obtain information on patients’ length of stay in the program and discharge status. Univariate ANOVAs and chi-square tests were conducted to examine group differences on outcomes.
Results
Patients’ ratings indicated strong satisfaction with the feedback intervention and expectations that it would have a positive impact on their treatment experiences. Among patients who had not previously been treated in the residential program, the feedback intervention was associated with more positive relationships with other residents in treatment and a stronger alliance with the treatment program one month after treatment entry. The feedback intervention was also associated with a longer length of stay in treatment, although this effect did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions
The findings highlight the clinical utility of providing SUD patients with patient-centered feedback based on the results of personality testing, and provide preliminary support for the acceptability and efficacy of this intervention to facilitate early engagement in residential SUD treatment.
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0030-9
PMCID: PMC4421926  PMID: 25928427
Substance use disorders; Patient-centered care; Therapeutic assessment; Treatment engagement; Personality testing; Feedback
6.  Implementation of a clinical pathway may improve alcohol treatment outcome 
This article describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a clinical pathway system in a two-cohort quasi-experimental study before and after implementation, controlling for confounders. The main outcome measures were retention in care and sensible alcohol use (defined as abstinent or drinking no more than 21 standard drinks per week). Patients with harmful alcohol use or dependence as their primary problem who were seeking psychosocial treatment at one of four alcohol clinics in Denmark participated in the study. After implementation of the clinical pathway system, which incorporated a structured intake, a referral and independent follow-up system, checklists, audit, and feedback, there was no change in length of stay, but significantly more patients had a good clinical outcome (stopped or moderated their consumption) at the end of treatment (OR = 1.9; 1.2–3.1). The study documents the feasibility of using a clinical pathway framework, incorporating a local monitoring system, checklists, audit, and feedback to enhance treatment quality and improve outcomes for alcohol use disorders.
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0031-8
PMCID: PMC4428248  PMID: 25928550
Alcoholism; Outpatient clinics; Clinical pathway; Local monitoring; Outcome
7.  Technology-based interventions for tobacco and other drug use in university and college students: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Background
University students have high levels of tobacco and other drug use, yet they are unlikely to seek traditional care. Technology-based interventions are highly relevant to this population. This paper comprises a systematic review and meta-analysis of published randomized trials of technology-based interventions evaluated in a tertiary (university/college) setting for tobacco and other drug use (excluding alcohol). It extends previous reviews by using a broad definition of technology.
Methods
PubMed, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane databases were searched using keywords, phrases, and MeSH terms. Retrieved abstracts (n = 627) were double screened and coded. Included studies met the following criteria: (1) the study was a randomized trial or a randomized controlled trial (RCT); (2) the sample was composed of students attending a tertiary (e.g., university, college) institution; (3) the intervention was either delivered by or accessed using a technological device or process (e.g., computer/internet, telephone, mobile short message services [SMS]); (4) the age range or mean of the sample was between 18 and 25 years; and (5) the intervention was designed to alter a drug use outcome relating to tobacco or other drugs (excluding alcohol).
Results
A total of 12 papers met inclusion criteria for the current review. The majority of included papers examined tobacco use (n = 9; 75%), two studies targeted marijuana use (17%); and one targeted stress, marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco use. A quantitative meta-analysis was conducted on the tobacco use studies using an abstinence outcome measure (n = 6), demonstrating that the interventions increased the rate of abstinence by 1.5 times that of controls (Risk Ratio [RR] = 1.54; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 1.20–1.98). Across all 12 studies, a total of 20 technology-based interventions were reviewed. A range of technology was employed in the interventions, including stand-alone computer programs (n = 10), internet (n = 5), telephone (n = 3), and mobile SMS (n = 2).
Conclusions
Although technological interventions have the potential to reduce drug use in tertiary students, very few trials have been conducted, particularly for substances other than tobacco. However, the improvement shown in abstinence from tobacco use has the potential to impact substantially on morbidity and mortality.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0027-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0027-4
PMCID: PMC4422468  PMID: 25928221
Systematic review; Meta-analysis; Technology; Intervention; Universities; Students; Drug use; Tobacco
8.  Evaluating whether direct-to-consumer marketing can increase demand for evidence-based practice among parents of adolescents with substance use disorders: rationale and protocol 
Background
Fewer than one in 10 adolescents with substance use disorders (ASUDs) will receive specialty treatment, and even fewer will receive treatment designated as evidence-based practice (EBP). Traditional efforts to increase the utilization of EBP by ASUDs typically focus on practitioners—either in substance use clinics or allied health settings. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing that directly targets parents of ASUDs represents a potentially complementary paradigm that has yet to be evaluated. The current study is the first to evaluate the relevance of a well-established marketing framework (the Marketing Mix) and measurement approach (measurement of perceived service quality [PSQ]) with parents of ASUDs in need of treatment.
Methods/design
A mixed-methods design is employed across three study phases, consistent with well-established methods used in the field of marketing science. Phase 1 consists of formative qualitative research with parents (and a supplementary sample of adolescents) in order to evaluate and potentially adapt a conceptual framework (Marketing Mix) and measure of PSQ. Phase 2 is a targeted survey of ASUD parents to elucidate their marketing preferences, using the adapted Marketing Mix framework, and to establish the psychometric properties of the PSQ measure. The survey will also gather data on parents’ preferences for different targeted marketing messages. Phase 3 is a two-group randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of targeted marketing messages versus standard clinical information. Key outcomes will include parents’ ratings of PSQ (using the new measure), behavioral intentions to seek out information about EBP, and actual information-seeking behavior.
Discussion
The current study will inform the field whether a well-established marketing framework and measurement approach can be used to increase demand for EBP among parents of ASUDs. Results of this study will have the potential to immediately inform DTC marketing efforts by professional organizations, federal agencies, clinicians, and clinical researchers.
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0028-3
PMCID: PMC4422145  PMID: 25928298
Direct-to-consumer; Marketing; Dissemination; Adolescents; Substance use disorders
9.  A pre-post pilot study of a brief, web-based intervention to engage disadvantaged smokers into cessation treatment 
Background
People with low education and/or income are more likely to smoke, less likely to quit, and experience disparately poor health outcomes compared to those with education and income advantage. Cost-effective strategies are needed to inform and engage this group into effective cessation treatments. We developed a novel, web-based, motivational, decision-support system that was designed to engage disadvantaged smokers into tobacco cessation treatment. We piloted the system among smokers in a primary care safety net clinic.
Methods
Thirty-nine eligible subjects were assessed at baseline and used the decision-support system; 38 were assessed 2 months later. Chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests were used to assess whether participants who used the program were more likely to use cessation treatment than a randomly selected group of 60 clinic patients.
Results
Thirty-nine percent of smokers initiated cessation treatment after using the decision-support system, compared to 3 percent of the comparison group (Fisher’s exact = 21.2; p = 0.000). Over 10 percent achieved continuous abstinence over the 2-month follow-up. Users were satisfied with the program – 100 percent stated they would recommend it to a friend.
Conclusions
Our data indicate that this web-based, motivational, decision-support system is feasible, satisfactory, and promising in its ability to engage smokers into cessation treatment in a primary care safety net clinic. Further evaluation research is warranted.
doi:10.1186/s13722-015-0026-5
PMCID: PMC4410579  PMID: 25638283
Tobacco cessation; Disadvantaged populations; Technology; Motivation
10.  Release from incarceration, relapse to opioid use and the potential for buprenorphine maintenance treatment: a qualitative study of the perceptions of former inmates with opioid use disorder 
Background
The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world (937 per 100,000 adults). Approximately one-third of heroin users pass through correctional facilities annually. Few receive medication assisted treatment (MAT; either methadone or buprenorphine) for opioid use disorder during incarceration, and nearly three-quarters relapse to heroin use within 3 months of release. This qualitative study investigated barriers to and facilitators of buprenorphine maintenance treatment (BMT) following release from incarceration (“re-entry”).
Methods
We conducted 21 semistructured interviews of former inmates with opioid use disorder recruited from addiction treatment settings. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Themes that emerged upon iterative readings of transcripts were discussed by the research team.
Results
Participants reported adverse re-entry conditions, including persistent exposure to drug use and stressful life events, which were perceived to contribute to opioid relapse and affected addiction treatment decisions during re-entry. Themes that emerged relating to BMT included: 1) reliance on willpower; 2) fear of dependency on medications; 3) variable exposure to buprenorphine; and 4) acceptability of BMT following relapse. Willpower was perceived to be more important for recovery than medications. Many participants experienced painful withdrawal from methadone during incarceration and were fearful that using MAT would lead to opioid tolerance and painful withdrawal again in the future. Participants reported both positive and negative experiences taking illicit buprenorphine, which affected interest in BMT. Overall, BMT was perceived to be a good treatment option for opioid use disorder that could reduce the risk of re-incarceration.
Conclusions
BMT was perceived to be acceptable, but former inmates with opioid use disorder may be reluctant to utilize BMT upon re-entry. Factors limiting utilization of BMT could be mitigated though policy change or interventions. Policies of the criminal justice system (e.g., forced detoxification) may be dissuading former inmates from utilizing effective treatments for opioid use disorder. Interventions that improve education and access to BMT for former inmates with opioid use disorder could facilitate entrance into treatment. Both policy changes and interventions are urgently needed to reduce the negative consequences of opioid relapse following re-entry.
doi:10.1186/s13722-014-0023-0
PMCID: PMC4410477  PMID: 25592182
Opioid use disorder; Buprenorphine maintenance treatment; Incarceration; Access to care
11.  Treatment dismantling pilot study to identify the active ingredients in personalized feedback interventions for hazardous alcohol use: randomized controlled trial 
Background
There is a considerable body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of personalized feedback interventions for hazardous alcohol use—whether delivered face-to-face, by postal mail, or over the Internet (probably now the primary mode of delivery). The Check Your Drinking Screener (CYD; see www.CheckYourDrinking.net) is one such intervention.
Objectives
The current treatment dismantling study assessed which components of personalized feedback interventions were effective in motivating change in drinking. Specifically, the major objective of this project was to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing the impact of the normative feedback and other personalized feedback components of the CYD intervention in the general population.
Methods
Participants were recruited to take part in an RCT and received either the complete CYD final report, just the normative feedback sections of the CYD, just the personalized feedback components of the CYD, or were assigned to a no-intervention control group. Participants were followed-up at 3 months to assess changes in alcohol consumption.
Results
A total of 741 hazardous drinking participants were recruited for the trial, of which 73 percent provided follow-up data. Analyses using an intent-to-treat approach found some evidence for the impact of the personalized feedback components of the CYD in reducing alcohol consumption on the variables, number of drinks in a week and AUDIT-C (p = .028 and .047 respectively; no impact on highest number of drinks on one occasion; p = .594). However, there was no significant evidence of the impact of the normative feedback components (all p > .3).
Conclusions
Personalized feedback elements alone could provide an active intervention for hazardous drinkers, particularly in situations where normative feedback information was not available.
Trials registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01608763.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13722-014-0022-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13722-014-0022-1
PMCID: PMC4288561  PMID: 25539597
Alcohol; Brief intervention; Internet; Randomized controlled trial; Mechanisms of change
12.  Randomized clinical trial of the effects of screening and brief intervention for illicit drug use: the life shift/shift gears study 
Background
Although screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) has shown promise for alcohol use, relatively little is known about its effectiveness for adult illicit drug use. This randomized controlled trial assessed the effectiveness of the SBIRT approach for outcomes related to drug use among patients visiting trauma and emergency departments (EDs) at two large, urban hospitals.
Methods
A total of 700 ED patients who admitted using illegal drugs in the past 30 days were recruited, consented, provided baseline measures of substance use and related problems measured with the Addiction Severity Index-Lite (ASI-Lite), and then randomized to the Life Shift SBIRT intervention or to an attention-placebo control group focusing on driving and traffic safety (Shift Gears). Both groups received a level of motivational intervention matched to their condition and risk level by trained paraprofessional health educators. Separate measurement technicians conducted face-to-face follow-ups at 6 months post-intervention and collected hair samples to confirm reports of abstinence from drug use. The primary outcome measure of the study was past 30-day drug abstinence at 6 months post-intervention, as self-reported on the ASI-Lite.
Results
Of 700 participants, 292 (42%) completed follow-up. There were no significant differences in self-reported abstinence (12.5% vs. 12.0% , p = 0.88) for Life Shift and Shift Gears groups, respectively. When results of hair analyses were applied, the abstinence rate was 7 percent for Life Shift and 2 percent for Shift Gears (p = .074). In an analysis in which results were imputed (n = 694), there was no significant difference in the ASI-Lite drug use composite scores (Life Shift +0.005 vs. Shift Gears +0.017, p = 0.12).
Conclusions
In this randomized controlled trial, there was no evidence of effectiveness of SBIRT on the primary drug use outcome.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01683227.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-8
PMCID: PMC4046000  PMID: 24886786
Screening and brief intervention; Drug use; Emergency department patients
13.  Participation in a novel treatment component during residential substance use treatment is associated with improved outcome: a pilot study 
Background
A person-centered substance use treatment component, the Natural Recovery Program, was developed. The Natural Recovery Program is comprised of small group therapy combined with pursuit of hobbies.
Methods
This was a pilot study of the program and was not randomized. A retrospective record review of 643 veterans in an inpatient mental health recovery and rehabilitation program was analyzed to determine if participants of Natural Recovery had a different rate of treatment completion than those who elected to participate in the core program alone. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted on: participation in the Natural Recovery Program; co-morbid psychiatric disorders; and legal, medical, and psychiatric issues.
Results
Participation in Natural Recovery was significantly associated with successful treatment completion when analyzed by univariate analysis (p = 0.01). Other significant variables associated with successful completion included: no co-morbid psychiatric diagnosis, fewer prior suicide attempts, and no homelessness prior to admission. Binary logistic regression demonstrated that participation in Natural Recovery was associated with improved treatment completion, even when other variables were considered (p = 0.01). Treatment retention was longer for patients who participated in Natural Recovery, even if they did not complete treatment.
Conclusions
The Natural Recovery Program was associated with improved outcomes, as measured by treatment retention in the first 60 days and by treatment completion. Participants of Natural Recovery with co-morbid psychiatric disorders completed treatment at a higher rate than those with co-morbid psychiatric disorders who participated in the core program. Patients reported high satisfaction with the program. This program may be a valuable adjunct to residential treatment.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-7
PMCID: PMC4047771  PMID: 24886745
Person-centered care; Treatment completion; Dual diagnosis; Co-morbid; Recovery model; Residential treatment; Psychosocial treatment
14.  Mobile phone brief intervention applications for risky alcohol use among university students: a randomized controlled study 
Background
Brief interventions via the internet have been shown to reduce university students’ alcohol intake. This study tested two smartphone applications (apps) targeting drinking choices on party occasions, with the goal of reducing problematic alcohol intake among Swedish university students.
Methods
Students were recruited via e-mails sent to student union members at two universities. Those who gave informed consent, had a smartphone, and showed risky alcohol consumption according to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) were randomized into three groups. Group 1 had access to the Swedish government alcohol monopoly’s app, Promillekoll, offering real-time estimated blood alcohol concentration (eBAC) calculation; Group 2 had access to a web-based app, PartyPlanner, developed by the research group, offering real-time eBAC calculation with planning and follow-up functions; and Group 3 participants were controls. Follow-up was conducted at 7 weeks.
Results
Among 28574 students offered participation, 4823 agreed to join; 415 were excluded due to incomplete data, and 1932 fulfilled eligibility criteria for randomization. Attrition was 22.7–39.3 percent, higher among heavier drinkers and highest in Group 2. Self-reported app use was higher in Group 1 (74%) compared to Group 2 (41%). Per-protocol analyses revealed only one significant time-by-group interaction, where Group 1 participants increased the frequency of their drinking occasions compared to controls (p = 0.001). Secondary analyses by gender showed a significant difference among men in Group 1 for frequency of drinking occasions per week (p = 0.001), but not among women. Among all participants, 29 percent showed high-risk drinking, over the recommended weekly drinking levels of 9 (women) and 14 (men) standard glasses.
Conclusions
Smartphone apps can make brief interventions available to large numbers of university students. The apps studied using eBAC calculation did not, however, seem to affect alcohol consumption among university students and one app may have led to a negative effect among men. Future research should: 1) explore ways to increase user retention, 2) include apps facilitating technical manipulation for evaluation of added components, 3) explore the effects of adapting app content to possible gender differences, and 4) offer additional interventions to high-risk users.
Trial registration
clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01958398.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-11
PMCID: PMC4091647  PMID: 24985342
Randomized controlled trial; Problem drinking; Alcohol abuse; College; University; Smartphone; Mobile phone; eHealth; mHealth; Brief intervention
15.  An implementation-focused process evaluation of an incentive intervention effectiveness trial in substance use disorders clinics at two Veterans Health Administration medical centers 
Background
One of the pressing concerns in health care today is the slow rate at which promising interventions, supported by research evidence, move into clinical practice. One potential way to speed this process is to conduct hybrid studies that simultaneously combine the collection of effectiveness and implementation relevant data. This paper presents implementation relevant data collected during a randomized effectiveness trial of an abstinence incentive intervention conducted in substance use disorders treatment clinics at two Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers.
Methods
Participants included patients entering substance use disorders treatment with diagnoses of alcohol dependence and/or stimulant dependence that enrolled in the randomized trial, were assigned to the intervention arm, and completed a post intervention survey (n = 147). All staff and leadership from the participating clinics were eligible to participate. A descriptive process evaluation was used, focused on participant perceptions and contextual/feasibility issues. Data collection was guided by the RE-AIM and PARIHS implementation frameworks. Data collection methods included chart review, intervention cost tracking, patient and staff surveys, and qualitative interviews with staff and administrators.
Results
Results indicated that patients, staff and administrators held generally positive attitudes toward the incentive intervention. However, staff and administrators identified substantial barriers to routine implementation. Despite the documented low cost and modest staff time required for implementation of the intervention, securing funding for the incentives and freeing up any staff time for intervention administration were identified as primary barriers.
Conclusions
Recommendations to facilitate implementation are presented. Recommendations include: 1) solicit explicit support from the highest levels of the organization through, for example, performance measures or clinical practice guideline recommendations; 2) adopt the intervention incrementally starting within a specific treatment track or clinic to reduce staff and funding burden until local evidence of effectiveness and feasibility is available to support spread; and 3) educate staff about the process, goals, and value/effectiveness of the intervention and engage them in implementation planning from the start to enhance investment in the intervention.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-12
PMCID: PMC4106217  PMID: 25008457
Substance use disorders treatment; Abstinence incentive intervention; Implementation; Process evaluation; Hybrid design
16.  Dissemination of a computer-based psychological treatment in a drug and alcohol clinical service: an observational study 
Background
There is emerging evidence for the potential of computer-based psychological treatments (CBPT) as an add-on to usual clinical practice in the management of health problems.
Objective
The study set out to observe if, when, and how clinicians working in a publically funded alcohol/other drug (AOD) clinical service might utilize SHADE (Self-Help for Alcohol and other drug use and DEpression), a CBPT program for comorbid depression and alcohol or cannabis use, in their clinical practice.
Methods
Thirteen clinicians working within an AOD service on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, were recruited. At baseline, all 13 clinicians were assessed for their computer anxiety and openness to innovation. Clinicians referred current clients to the study, with consenting and eligible clients (N = 35) completing a baseline and 15-week follow-up clinical assessment. The assessment comprised a range of mental health and AOD measures administered by an independent research assistant. Over the course of the study, clinicians submitted session checklists detailing information about session content, including the context and extent to which SHADE was used for each client.
Results
Descriptive statistics showed that clinicians employed the SHADE program in a variety of ways. When SHADE modules were used, they were generally introduced in the early phase of treatment, on average, around session 4 (M = 3.77, SD = 5.26, range 1–36). However, only 12 of the 35 clients whose session checklists were available were exposed to the SHADE modules; this, despite 28/35 clients indicating that they would be willing to use CBPT during their current treatment program.
Conclusions
Treatment seekers in the AOD service of the current trial were generally open to receiving CBPT like SHADE; however, clinicians tended to use SHADE with only 34 percent of clients. This indicates the importance of providing ongoing support and encouragement to clinicians, in addition to an initial training session, to encourage the adoption of innovative technologies into clinical practice, and perhaps to engage clients in a discussion about CBPT more routinely.
Trial registration
Australian Clinical Trial Registration Number ACTRN12611000382976.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-15
PMCID: PMC4131058  PMID: 25106668
Computer/internet-based psychological treatment; Computer anxiety; Openness to innovation; Alcohol/other drug clinical service
17.  A chance to stop and breathe: participants’ experiences in the North American Opiate Medication Initiative clinical trial 
Background
The North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI) clinical trial compared the effectiveness of injectable diacetylmorphine (DAM) or hydromorphone (HDM) to oral methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). This study aimed to determine participants’ perceptions of treatment delivered in NAOMI.
Methods
A qualitative sub-study was conducted with 29 participants (12 female): 18 (62.1%) received injectable DAM or HDM and 11 (37.9%) received MMT. A phenomenological theoretical framework was used. Semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was used over successive phases and was driven by the semantic meanings of the data.
Results
Participants receiving injectable medications suggested that the supervised delivery model was stringent but provided valuable stability to their lives. Females discussed the adjustment required for the clinical setting, while males focused on the challenging clinic schedule and its impact on employment abilities. Participants receiving MMT described disappointment with being randomized to this treatment; however, positive aspects, including the quick titration time and availability of auxiliary services, were also discussed.
Conclusion
Treatment with injectable DAM (or HDM) is preferred by participants and considered effective in reducing the burden of opioid dependency. Engaging patients in research regarding their perceptions of treatment provides a comprehensive assessment of treatment needs and barriers.
Clinical trial registration
NCT00175357
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-21
PMCID: PMC4181618  PMID: 25262567
Opioid dependency; Diacetylmorphine; Injectable; Oral methadone; Opioid maintenance treatment; Qualitative methods
18.  Clinically relevant characteristics associated with early treatment drug use versus abstinence 
Background
This study describes early treatment drug use status and associated clinical characteristics in a diverse sample of patients entering outpatient substance abuse psychosocial counseling treatment. The goal is to more fully characterize those entering treatment with and without active use of their primary drug in order to better understand associated treatment needs and resilience factors.
Methods
We examined baseline data from a NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) study (Web-delivery of Treatment for Substance Use) with an all-comers sample of patients (N = 494) entering 10 outpatient treatment centers. Patients were categorized according to self-identified primary drug of abuse (alcohol, cocaine/stimulants, opioids, marijuana) and by baseline drug use status (positive/negative) based on urine testing or self-reports of recent use (alcohol). Characteristics were examined by primary drug and early use status.
Results
Classified as drug-negative were 84%, 76%, 62%, and 33% of primary opioid, stimulant, alcohol, and marijuana users; respectively. Drug-positive versus -negative patients did not differ on demographics or rates of substance abuse/dependence diagnoses. However, those negative for active use had better physical and mental health profiles, were less likely to be using a secondary drug, and were more likely to be attending 12-step self-help meetings.
Conclusions
Early treatment drug abstinence is common among substance users entering outpatient psychosocial counseling programs, regardless of primary abused drug. Abstinence (by negative UA) is associated with better health and mental health profiles, less secondary drug use, and more days of 12-step attendance. These data highlight differential treatment needs and resiliencies associated with early treatment drug use status.
Trial registration
NCT01104805.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-6
PMCID: PMC4234981  PMID: 24708748
Substance abuse; Substance abuse treatment; Co-occurring disorders; Co-morbidity; Screening
19.  Implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the emergency department: a qualitative study of staff perceptions 
Background
The US Public Health Service smoking cessation practice guideline specifically recommends that physicians and nurses strongly advise their patients who use tobacco to quit, but the best approach for attaining this goal in the emergency department (ED) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize emergency physicians’ (EPs) and nurses’ (ENs) perceptions of cessation counseling and to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation of the 5 A’s framework (Ask-Advise-Assess-Assist-Arrange) in the ED.
Methods
We conducted semi-structured, face-to-face interviews of 11 EPs and 19 ENs following a pre-post implementation trial of smoking cessation guidelines in two study EDs. We used purposeful sampling to target EPs and ENs with different attitudes toward cessation counseling, based on their responses to a written survey (Decisional Balance Questionnaire). Conventional content analysis was used to inductively characterize the issues raised by study participants and to construct a coding structure, which was then applied to study transcripts.
Results
The main findings of this study converged upon three overarching domains: 1) reactions to the intervention; 2) perceptions of patients’ receptivity to cessation counseling; and 3) perspectives on ED cessation counseling and preventive care. ED staff expressed ambivalence toward the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines. Both ENs and EPs agreed that the delivery of smoking cessation counseling is important, but that it is not always practical in the ED on account of time constraints, the competing demands of acute care, and resistance from patients. Participants also called attention to the need for improved role clarity and teamwork when implementing the 5 A’s in the ED.
Conclusions
There are numerous challenges to the implementation of smoking cessation guidelines in the ED. ENs are generally willing to take the lead in offering brief cessation counseling, but their efforts need to be reinforced by EPs. ED systems need to address workflow, teamwork, and practice policies that facilitate prescription of smoking cessation medication, referral for cessation counseling, and follow-up in primary care. The results of this qualitative evaluation can be used to guide the design of future ED intervention studies.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov registration number NCT00756704
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-1
PMCID: PMC3902188  PMID: 24460974
Emergency medical services; Smoking cessation; Attitude of health personnel; Qualitative research; Content analysis
20.  Continuous quality improvement (CQI) in addiction treatment settings: design and intervention protocol of a group randomized pilot study 
Background
Few studies have designed and tested the use of continuous quality improvement approaches in community based substance use treatment settings. Little is known about the feasibility, costs, efficacy, and sustainment of such approaches in these settings.
Methods/Design
A group-randomized trial using a modified stepped wedge design is being used. In the first phase of the study, eight programs, stratified by modality (residential, outpatient) are being randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition. In the second phase, the initially assigned control programs are receiving the intervention to gain additional information about feasibility while sustainment is being studied among the programs initially assigned to the intervention.
Discussion
By using this design in a pilot study, we help inform the field about the feasibility, costs, efficacy and sustainment of the intervention. Determining information at the pilot stage about costs and sustainment provides value for designing future studies and implementation strategies with the goal to reduce the time between intervention development and translation to real world practice settings.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-4
PMCID: PMC3906762  PMID: 24467770
Continuous quality improvement; Group randomized controlled pilot trial; Stepped wedge design; Costs; Sustainment; Feasibility
21.  Outcomes among buprenorphine-naloxone primary care patients after Hurricane Sandy 
Background
The extent of damage in New York City following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 was unprecedented. Bellevue Hospital Center (BHC), a tertiary public hospital, was evacuated and temporarily closed as a result of hurricane-related damages. BHC’s large primary care office-based buprenorphine clinic was relocated to an affiliate public hospital for three weeks. The extent of environmental damage and ensuing service disruption effects on rates of illicit drug, tobacco, and alcohol misuse, buprenorphine medication supply disruptions, or direct resource losses among office-based buprenorphine patients is to date unknown.
Methods
A quantitative and qualitative semi-structured survey was administered to patients in BHC’s primary care buprenorphine program starting one month after the hurricane. Survey domains included: housing and employment disruptions; social and economic support; treatment outcomes (buprenorphine adherence and ability to get care), and tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. Open-ended questions probed general patient experiences related to the storm, coping strategies, and associated disruptions.
Results
There were 132 patients enrolled in the clinic at the time of the storm; of those, 91 patients were recruited to the survey, and 89 completed (98% of those invited). Illicit opioid misuse was rare, with 7 respondents reporting increased heroin or illicit prescription opioid use following Sandy. Roughly half of respondents reported disruption of their buprenorphine-naloxone medication supply post-event, and self-lowering of daily doses to prolong supply was common. Additional buprenorphine was obtained through unscheduled telephone or written refills from relocated Bellevue providers, informally from friends and family, and, more rarely, from drug dealers.
Conclusions
The findings highlight the relative adaptability of public sector office-based buprenorphine treatment during and after a significant natural disaster. Only minimal increases in self-reported substance use were reported despite many disruptions to regular buprenorphine supplies and previous daily doses. Informal supplies of substitute buprenorphine from family and friends was common. Remote telephone refill support and a temporary back-up location that provided written prescription refills and medication dispensing for uninsured patients enabled some patients to maintain an adequate medication supply. Such adaptive strategies to ensure medication maintenance continuity pre/post natural disasters likely minimize poor treatment outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-3
PMCID: PMC3940298  PMID: 24467734
22.  HealthCall for the smartphone: technology enhancement of brief intervention in HIV alcohol dependent patients 
Background
Heavy drinking jeopardizes the health of patients in HIV primary care. In alcohol dependent patients in HIV primary care, a technological enhancement of brief intervention, HealthCall administered via interactive voice response (HealthCall-IVR) was effective at reducing heavy drinking. The smartphone offered a technology platform to improve HealthCall.
Methods
Working with input from patients, technology experts, and HIV clinic personnel, we further developed HealthCall, harnessing smartphone technological capacities (HealthCall-S). In a pilot study, we compared rates of HealthCall-S daily use and drinking outcomes in 41 alcohol dependent HIV-infected patients with the 43 alcohol dependent HIV-infected patients who used HealthCall-IVR in our previous efficacy study. Procedures, clinic, personnel, and measures were largely the same in the two studies, and the two groups of patients were demographically similar (~90% minority).
Results
Pilot patients used HealthCall-S a median of 85.0% of the 60 days of treatment, significantly greater than the corresponding rate (63.8%) among comparison patients using HealthCall-IVR (p < .001). Mean end-of-treatment drinks per drinking day was similar in the two groups. Patients were highly satisfied with HealthCall-S (i.e., 92% reported that they liked using HealthCall-S).
Conclusions
Among alcohol dependent patients in HIV primary care, HealthCall delivered via smartphone is feasible, obtains better patient engagement than HealthCall-IVR, and is associated with decreased drinking. In HIV primary care settings, HealthCall-S may offer a way to improve drinking outcomes after brief intervention by extending patient engagement with little additional demands on staff time.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-5
PMCID: PMC3943503  PMID: 24533631
HIV; Alcohol; Brief intervention; Technology intervention; Smartphone; Primary care
23.  Inconsistencies between alcohol screening results based on AUDIT-C scores and reported drinking on the AUDIT-C questions: prevalence in two US national samples 
Background
The AUDIT-C is an extensively validated screen for unhealthy alcohol use (i.e. drinking above recommended limits or alcohol use disorder), which consists of three questions about alcohol consumption. AUDIT-C scores ≥4 points for men and ≥3 for women are considered positive screens based on US validation studies that compared the AUDIT-C to “gold standard” measures of unhealthy alcohol use from independent, detailed interviews. However, results of screening—positive or negative based on AUDIT-C scores—can be inconsistent with reported drinking on the AUDIT-C questions. For example, individuals can screen positive based on the AUDIT-C score while reporting drinking below US recommended limits on the same AUDIT-C. Alternatively, they can screen negative based on the AUDIT-C score while reporting drinking above US recommended limits. Such inconsistencies could complicate interpretation of screening results, but it is unclear how often they occur in practice.
Methods
This study used AUDIT-C data from respondents who reported past-year drinking on one of two national US surveys: a general population survey (N = 26,610) and a Veterans Health Administration (VA) outpatient survey (N = 467,416). Gender-stratified analyses estimated the prevalence of AUDIT-C screen results—positive or negative screens based on the AUDIT-C score—that were inconsistent with reported drinking (above or below US recommended limits) on the same AUDIT-C.
Results
Among men who reported drinking, 13.8% and 21.1% of US general population and VA samples, respectively, had screening results based on AUDIT-C scores (positive or negative) that were inconsistent with reported drinking on the AUDIT-C questions (above or below US recommended limits). Among women who reported drinking, 18.3% and 20.7% of US general population and VA samples, respectively, had screening results that were inconsistent with reported drinking.
Limitations
This study did not include an independent interview gold standard for unhealthy alcohol use and therefore cannot address how often observed inconsistencies represent false positive or negative screens.
Conclusions
Up to 21% of people who drink alcohol had alcohol screening results based on the AUDIT-C score that were inconsistent with reported drinking on the same AUDIT-C. This needs to be addressed when training clinicians to use the AUDIT-C.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-2
PMCID: PMC3946205  PMID: 24468406
AUDIT-C; Brief intervention; Unhealthy alcohol use; Alcohol screening; Heavy episodic drinking
24.  Opioid use in Albuquerque, New Mexico: a needs assessment of recent changes and treatment availability 
Background
New Mexico has consistently high rates of drug-induced deaths, and opioid-related treatment admissions have been increasing over the last two decades. Youth in New Mexico are at particular risk: they report higher rates of nonmedical prescription opioid use than those over age 25, are more likely than their national counterparts to have tried heroin, and represent an increasing proportion of heroin overdoses.
Methods
Commissioned by the City of Albuquerque, semistructured interviews were conducted from April to June of 2011 with 24 substance use treatment agencies and eight key stakeholders in Albuquerque to identify recent changes in the treatment-seeking population and gaps in treatment availability. Themes were derived using template analysis and data were analyzed using NVivo 9 software.
Results
Respondents reported a noticeable increase in youth seeking treatment for opioid use and a general increase in nonmedical prescription opioid use. Most noted difficulties with finding buprenorphine providers and a lack of youth services. Additionally, stigma, limited interagency communication and referral, barriers to prescribing buprenorphine, and a lack of funding were noted as preventing opioid users from quickly accessing effective treatment.
Conclusions
Recommendations for addressing these issues include developing youth-specific treatment programs, raising awareness about opioid use among youth, increasing the availability of buprenorphine through provider incentives and education, developing a resource guide for individuals seeking treatment in Albuquerque, and prioritizing interagency communication and referrals.
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-10
PMCID: PMC4070335  PMID: 24942534
Opioids; Heroin; Buprenorphine; Treatment; Youth; Needs assessment; New Mexico
25.  Rationale and design of a randomized controlled trial of varenicline directly observed therapy delivered in methadone clinics 
Background
Tobacco cessation medication adherence is one of the few factors shown to improve smoking cessation rates among methadone-maintained smokers, but interventions to improve adherence to smoking cessation medications have not yet been tested among methadone treatment patients. Methadone clinic-based, directly observed therapy (DOT) programs for HIV and tuberculosis improve adherence and clinical outcomes, but have not been evaluated for smoking cessation. We describe a randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether a methadone clinic-based, directly observed varenicline therapy program increases adherence and tobacco abstinence among opioid-dependent drug users receiving methadone treatment.
Methods/Design
We plan to enroll 100 methadone-maintained smokers and randomize them to directly observed varenicline dispensed with daily methadone doses or treatment as usual (self-administered varenicline) for 12 weeks. Our outcome measures are: 1) pill count adherence and 2) carbon monoxide-verified tobacco abstinence. We will assess differences in adherence and abstinence between the two treatment arms using repeated measures models.
Discussion
This trial will allow for rigorous evaluation of the efficacy of methadone clinic-based, directly observed varenicline for improving adherence and smoking cessation outcomes. This detailed description of trial methodology can serve as a template for the development of future DOT programs and can guide protocols for studies among opioid-dependent smokers receiving methadone treatment.
Trial Registration
clinicaltrials.gov NCT01378858
doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-9
PMCID: PMC4084498  PMID: 24928218
Adherence; Smoking cessation; Varenicline; Directly observed therapy; DOT; Methadone; Opioid-related disorders

Results 1-25 (151)