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Group-Based Strategies for Stress Reduction in Methadone Maintenance Treatment: What Do Patients Want?

Barry, Declan T. PhD; Beitel, Mark PhD; Breuer, Timothy BA; Cutter, Christopher J. PhD; Savant, Jonathan BS; Peters, Skye BA; Schottenfeld, Richard S. MD; Rounsaville, Bruce J. MD

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e3181ee77cl
Original Research

Objectives: To assess methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) patients' willingness to use, and perceived efficacy of, conventional and unconventional group stress reduction treatments.

Methods: A survey, developed by the authors, was administered to 150 MMT patients.

Results: Levels of treatment willingness and perceived efficacy for both conventional and unconventional treatments were relatively high; however, ratings for conventional interventions were, on average, significantly higher than those for unconventional ones. The highest rated conventional and unconventional treatments in terms of willingness and perceived efficacy were nutrition and spiritual counseling, respectively, whereas the lowest rated conventional and unconventional group treatments were anger management and visualization training, respectively. White race was a significant predictor of lower willingness to try conventional and unconventional group therapies and lower perceived efficacy of unconventional group treatment, whereas female sex and older age were significant predictors of higher levels of willingness to try unconventional group treatment. Higher levels of substance use problems were associated with increased willingness to try conventional group treatment. Higher levels of anxiety emerged as a significant independent predictor of treatment willingness and perceived efficacy for both conventional and unconventional group treatments.

Conclusions: The relatively high levels of treatment willingness and perceived efficacy of conventional and unconventional group stress reduction treatments point to the feasibility of offering these interventions in MMT and suggest that, in particular, high levels of anxiety are associated with greater treatment willingness and perceived treatment efficacy.

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine (DTB, MB, CJC, RSS, BJR); and APT Foundation Pain Treatment Services (DTB, MB, TB, CJC, JS, SP), New Haven, CT.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Declan T. Barry, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine, CMHC/SAC Room 220, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519-1187. e-mail:

Supported by the APT Foundation Inc.; and the National Institute on Drug Abuse grants K23 DA024050, K24 DA000445, and P50DA09251; and US Veterans Administration New England Illness Research Education and Clinical Center.

Received April 15, 2010

Accepted June 18, 2010

© 2011 American Society of Addiction Medicine