Home > The role of counselling in methadone maintenance treatment in Ireland.

Harper, Stephen (1999) The role of counselling in methadone maintenance treatment in Ireland. MSc thesis, Trinity College Dublin.

Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is accepted as one of the most effective treatments for opioid dependence. Variations in the delivery of this treatment however, mean there is debate over which of the constituent parts of treatment leads to overall effectiveness. Counselling has been described as an essential part of MMT. The purpose of this study was to examine whether clients who received regular counselling as part of their treatment showed better treatment outcomes on a range of measures as measured by the Opiate Treatment Index (OTI). The setting for the study was a Dublin methadone prescribing service. Thirty-one clients (mean age 30.6) were assigned to an experimental group (n=16) or a control group (n=15) on the basis of whether they were receiving counselling as part of their treatment or not.

The OTI measures treatment outcome of opioid users on six major domains: drug use, HIV risk behaviour, social functioning, criminality health and psychological adjustment. The data generated by both groups were similar with respect to health, injecting risk behaviour and levels of crime. The socio-demographic data showed that clients in counselling were more likely to be in full time employment, education or training. Analysis of the data from the OTI showed that clients in counselling had significantly less alcohol use but were more likely to engage in sexual risk behaviour and to have significantly higher levels of anxiety. Although this cross-sectional study showed some evidence that counselling contributes to improved outcomes further research would be required to determine the exact nature of the relationship.

Item Type:Thesis (MSc)
Pages:56 p.
Notes:This thesis is only held in TCD library, Stacks call no. Thesis 5721
Accession Number:HRB 2638 (Not in collection)
Related URLs:
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
HJ Treatment method > Counselling
HJ Treatment method > Drugs and alcohol disorder treatment method > Drugs and alcohol replacement method (substitution) > Methadone maintenance

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