Contingency management (CM), long known to be efficacious in the treatment of substance-dependent men and women, has also been found to be efficacious for substance-dependent pregnant women. However, the specific CM reinforcement parameters in the special population of opioid-dependent pregnant women have been less fully and systematically studied. The Drug Abuse Incentive Systems (DAISY) study, a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of opioid-dependent pregnant patients, found that escalating reinforcement was not superior to a fixed reinforcement CM schedule after a 13-week intervention. To further examine CM’s reinforcement parameters in this population, this study aims to test the hypothesis that there is an early treatment response showing an escalating reinforcement schedule to be significantly more efficacious than a fixed schedule after 5 weeks of intervention in opioid-dependent pregnant patients.
Nine measures of opioid and cocaine abstinence among fixed and escalating CM schedule participants in the DAISY RCT (N=90) were compared over the initial 5 weeks of the intervention.
No statistically significant difference in the opioid and cocaine abstinence measures was found between escalating and fixed conditions after 5 weeks (14 opportunities for each participant to leave a urine sample). The mean (SD) number of drug-negative urine samples was 8.1 (4.5) and 7.4 (4.3), for escalating and fixed groups, respectively (P=0.46).
These results further the scientific knowledge regarding CM treatment in opioid-dependent pregnant women by supporting the finding that the escalating and fixed CM schedules produce similar amounts of drug-negative urine samples early in treatment.