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Predictors of Poor Adherence to Methadone Maintenance Treatment in Yunnan Province, China

Shen, Jiucheng MD, MPH; Wang, Mei MB, BS, MSc; Wang, Xiaodan MD, MPH; Zhang, Guanbai MD, MPH; Guo, Jie MD; Li, Xinyue MSc; Li, Jianhua MD

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000180
Original Research

Background: China initiated the methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) program since 2004. The main challenge has been poor clinic adherence, which has a serious impact on treatment efficacy.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify predictors of poor adherence to MMT in Yunnan Province, China.

Methods: We performed a case-control study of 764 patients, newly enrolled or re-enrolled on MMT programs, between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011. Information was obtained from clinic databases.

Results: The frequency of poor adherence was 561 (73.43%). Lower daily methadone dosage (<60 mg) was significantly associated with poor adherence (odds ratio 4.07; 95% confidence interval, 2.88–5.74; P value < 0.001). Younger age was also a significant predictor of poor adherence (odds ratio 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.05; P value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Higher dosage of methadone is recommended as a way to improve treatment adherence.

Yunnan Institute for Drug Abuse, Kunming, China (JS, XW, GZ, JG, XL, JL); National Addiction Centre, Division of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK (MW).

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Jiucheng Shen, MD, MPH, Yunnan Institute for Drug Abuse, 300 Xi-Hua-Yuan, Wu-Jia-Dui, Kunming 650028, Yunnan Province, China. E-mail:

Received 21 February, 2014

Accepted 15 November, 2014

Ethic approval: This study received ethic approval for secondary analysis from IRB of Yunnan Institute of Drug Abuse (IRB00002096, FWA00020775).

Conflicts of interest: None declared.

© 2016 American Society of Addiction Medicine