Article

Challenges in providing services in methadone maintenance therapy clinics in China: Service providers' perceptions

School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.
The International journal on drug policy (Impact Factor: 2.54). 10/2009; 21(3):173-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2009.09.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) program has been initiated in China since 2004. As of the end of November, 2008, 558 MMT clinics had been established countrywide. The objective of this study was to elucidate the difficulties and challenges as perceived by service providers working in MMT clinics.
One service provider from each of the 28 MMT study clinics in Zhejiang and Jiangxi Provinces of China participated in a face-to-face in-depth interview for about 1-2h to describe their perceptions of working in MMT clinics. Qualitative data were analysed using ATLAS.ti. The grounded theory was used to guide the data analysis.
Participants identified major problems in providing services in MMT clinics including lack of resources, professional training, and institutional support. Difficulties in pursuit of career, concern for personal safety, low income, heavy working load, and poor opinion of MMT by Chinese society often contributed to greater stress and burnout among the service providers.
The MMT programs in China desperately need additional resource allocation and institutional support for the current and perhaps future expansion of the programs. The service providers are in urgent need of professional training to improve the quality of care they can offer MMT clients.

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