[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unhealthy alcohol use is a major contributor to the global burden of disease and injury. The US Preventive Services Task Force has recommended alcohol screening and intervention in general medical settings since 2004. Yet less than one in six US adults report health care professionals discussing alcohol with them. Little is known about methods for increasing implementation; different staffing models may be related to implementation effectiveness. This implementation trial compared delivery of alcohol screening, brief intervention and referral to specialty treatment (SBIRT) by physicians versus non-physician providers receiving training, technical assistance, and feedback reports.
The study was a cluster randomized implementation trial (ADVISe [Alcohol Drinking as a Vital Sign]). Within a private, integrated health care system, 54 adult primary care clinics were stratified by medical center and randomly assigned in blocked groups of three to SBIRT by physicians (PCP arm) versus non-physician providers and medical assistants (NPP and MA arm), versus usual care (Control arm). NIH-recommended screening questions were added to the electronic health record (EHR) to facilitate SBIRT. We examined screening and brief intervention and referral rates by arm. We also examined patient-, physician-, and system-level factors affecting screening rates and, among those who screened positive, rates of brief intervention and referral to treatment.
Screening rates were highest in the NPP and MA arm (51 %); followed by the PCP arm (9 %) and the Control arm (3.5 %). Screening increased over the 12 months after training in the NPP and MA arm but remained stable in the PCP arm. The PCP arm had higher brief intervention and referral rates (44 %) among patients screening positive than either the NPP and MA arm (3.4 %) or the Control arm (2.7 %). Higher ratio of MAs to physicians was related to higher screening rates in the NPP and MA arm and longer appointment times to screening and intervention rates in the PCP arm.
Findings suggest that time frames longer than 12 months may be required for full SBIRT implementation. Screening by MAs with intervention and referral by physicians as needed can be a feasible model for increasing the implementation of this critical and under-utilized preventive health service within currently predominant primary care models.
Trial registration: Clinical Trials NCT01135654
Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Addiction science & clinical practice
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The development and approval of an efficacious pharmacotherapy for stimulant use disorders has been limited by the lack of a meaningful indicator of treatment success, other than sustained abstinence.
In March, 2015, a meeting sponsored by Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTTION) was convened to discuss the current state of the evidence regarding meaningful outcome measures in clinical trials for stimulant use disorders. Attendees included members of academia, funding and regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare organizations. The goal was to establish a research agenda for the development of a meaningful outcome measure that may be used as an endpoint in clinical trials for stimulant use disorders.
Results and conclusions:
Based on guidelines for the selection of clinical trial endpoints, the lessons learned from prior addiction clinical trials, and the process that led to identification of a meaningful indicator of treatment success for alcohol use disorders, several recommendations for future research were generated. These include a focus on the validation of patient reported outcome measures of functioning, the exploration of patterns of stimulant abstinence that may be associated with physical and/or psychosocial benefits, the role of urine testing for validating self-reported measures of stimulant abstinence, and the operational definitions for reduction-based measures in terms of frequency rather than quantity of stimulant use. These recommendations may be useful for secondary analyses of clinical trial data, and in the design of future clinical trials that may help establish a meaningful indicator of treatment success.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Drug and alcohol dependence
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract This study used a life-course perspective to identify and understand life events related to long-term alcohol and other drug (AOD) use trajectories across the life span. Using a purposive sample, we conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with 48 participants (n = 30 abstinent and 18 non-abstinent) from a longitudinal study of AOD outcomes 15 years following outpatient AOD treatment. A content analysis was conducted using ATLAS.ti software to identify events and salient themes. Caregiving for an ill or dependent family member was related to better AOD outcomes by reinforcing abstinence and reduced drinking, and contributing to alcohol cessation in most individuals who cited caregiving as a pivotal event. Grandparenting and parenting an adult child were motivational for sustaining abstinence and reduced drinking. Findings were mixed on death of a loved one, which was related to abstinence in some and relapse in others. Redemption and mutual fulfillment as caregivers, reconciliations with adult children, and legacy-building as grandparents were themes associated with maintaining abstinence and reduced drinking. AOD treatment has the opportunity to employ motivational interventions for relapse prevention that address the meaning and lifelong reach of intimate relationships for individuals and their AOD use across the life span.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of psychoactive drugs
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The goal of the current study was to use tree-based methods (Zhang and Singer, 2010, Recursive Partitioning and Applications, 2nd ed. Springer, New York) to identify predictors of abstinence from heavy drinking in COMBINE (Anton et al. JAMA 2006; 295:2003), the largest study of pharmacotherapy for alcoholism in the United States to date, and to validate these results in PREDICT (Mann et al. Addict Biol 2012; 18:937), a parallel study conducted in Germany.
We compared a classification tree constructed according to purely statistical criteria to a tree constructed according to a combination of statistical criteria and clinical considerations for prediction of no heavy drinking during treatment in COMBINE. We considered over 100 baseline predictors. The tree approach was compared to logistic regression. The trees and a deterministic forest identified the most important predictors of no heavy drinking for direct testing in PREDICT.
The tree built using both clinical and statistical considerations consisted of 4 splits based on consecutive days of abstinence (CDA) prior to randomization, age, family history of alcoholism, and confidence to resist drinking in response to withdrawal and urges. The tree based on statistical considerations with 4 splits also split on CDA and age but also on gamma-glutamyl transferase level and drinking goal. Deterministic forest identified CDA, age, and drinking goal as the most important predictors. Backward elimination logistic regression among the top 18 predictors identified in the deterministic forest analyses identified only age and CDA as significant main effects. Longer CDA and goal of complete abstinence were associated with better outcomes in both data sets.
The most reliable predictors of abstinence from heavy drinking were CDA and drinking goal. Trees provide binary decision rules and straightforward graphical representations for identification of subgroups based on response and may be easier to implement in clinical settings.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims:
To assess the effectiveness of brief motivational intervention for alcohol and drug use in young adult primary care patients in a low-income population and country.
A randomized controlled trial in a public-sector clinic in Delft, a township in the Western Cape, South Africa recruited 403 patients who were randomized to either single-session, nurse practitioner-delivered Brief Motivational Intervention plus referral list or usual care plus referral list, and followed up at 3 months.
Although rates of at-risk alcohol use and drug use did not differ by treatment arm at follow-up, patients assigned to the Brief Motivational Intervention had significantly reduced scores on ASSIST (Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test) for alcohol-the most prevalent substance.
Brief Motivational Intervention may be effective at reducing at-risk alcohol use in the short term among low-income young adult primary care patients; additional research is needed to examine long-term outcomes.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). Supplement
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Qualified physicians may prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid dependence, but medication use remains controversial. We examined adoption of buprenorphine in two not-for-profit integrated health plans, over time, completing 101 semi-structured interviews with clinicians and clinician-administrators from primary and specialty care. Transcripts were reviewed, coded, and analyzed. A strong leader championing the new treatment was critical for adoption in both health plans. Once clinicians began using buprenorphine, patients' and other clinicians' experiences affected decisions more than did the champion. With experience, protocols developed to manage unsuccessful patients and changed to support maintenance rather than detoxification. Diffusion outside addiction and mental health settings was nonexistent; primary care clinicians cited scope-of-practice issues and referred patients to specialty care. With greater diffusion came questions about long-term use and safety. Recognizing how implementation processes develop may suggest where, when, and how to best expend resources to increase adoption of such treatments.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of substance abuse treatment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lower-risk drinking is increasingly being examined as a treatment outcome for some patients following addiction treatment. However, few studies have examined the relationship between drinking status (lower-risk drinking in particular) and healthcare utilization and cost, which has important policy implications.
Participants were adults with alcohol dependence and/or abuse diagnoses who received outpatient alcohol and other drug treatment in a private, nonprofit integrated healthcare delivery system and had a follow-up interview 6 months after treatment entry (N = 995). Associations between past 30-day drinking status at 6 months (abstinence, lower-risk drinking defined as nonabstinence and no days of 5+ drinking, and heavy drinking defined as 1 or more days of 5+ drinking) and repeated measures of at least 1 emergency department (ED), inpatient or primary care visit, and their costs over 5 years were examined using mixed-effects models. We modeled an interaction between time and drinking status to examine trends in utilization and costs over time by drinking group.
Heavy drinkers and lower-risk drinkers were not significantly different from the abstainers in their cost or utilization at time 0 (i.e., 6 months postintake). Heavy drinkers had increasing odds of inpatient (p < 0.01) and ED (p < 0.05) utilization over 5 years compared with abstainers. Lower-risk drinkers and abstainers did not significantly differ in their service use in any category over time. No differences were found in changes in primary care use among the 3 groups over time. The cost analyses paralleled the utilization results. Heavy drinkers had increasing ED (p < 0.05) and inpatient (p < 0.001) costs compared with the abstainers; primary care costs did not significantly differ. Lower-risk drinkers did not have significantly different medical costs compared with those who were abstinent over 5 years. However, post hoc analyses found lower-risk drinkers and heavy drinkers to not significantly differ in their ED use or costs over time.
Performance measures for treatment settings that consider treatment outcomes may need to take into account both abstinence and reduction to nonheavy drinking. Future research should examine whether results are replicated in harm reduction treatment, or whether such outcomes are found only in abstinence-based treatment.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2010, the Washington Circle convened a meeting, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), for a multidisciplinary group of experts to focus on the research gaps in performance measures for substance use disorders. This article presents recommendations in three areas: development of new performance measures; methodological and other considerations in using performance measures; and implementation research focused on using performance measures for accountability and quality improvement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
This paper used data from a study of pediatric primary care provider (PCP) screening practices to examine barriers to and facilitators of adolescent alcohol and other drug (AOD) screening in pediatric primary care.
A web-based survey (N = 437) was used to examine the influence of PCP factors (attitudes and knowledge, training, self-efficacy, comfort with alcohol and drug issues); patient characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, comorbidities and risk factors); and organizational factors (screening barriers, staffing resources, confidentiality issues) on AOD screening practices. Self-reported and electronic medical record (EMR)-recorded screening rates were also assessed.
More PCPs felt unprepared to diagnose alcohol abuse (42%) and other drug abuse (56%) than depression (29%) (p < 0.001). Overall, PCPs were more likely to screen boys than girls, and male PCPs were even more likely than female PCPs to screen boys (23% versus 6%, p < 0.0001). Having more time and having other staff screen and review results were identified as potential screening facilitators. Self-reported screening rates were significantly higher than actual (EMR-recorded) rates for all substances. Feeling prepared to diagnose AOD problems predicted higher self-reported screening rates (OR = 1.02, p <0.001), and identifying time constraints as a barrier to screening predicted lower self-reported screening rates (OR = 0.91, p < 0.001). Higher average panel age was a significant predictor of increased EMR-recorded screening rates (OR = 1.11, p < 0.001).
Organizational factors, lack of training, and discomfort with AOD screening may impact adolescent substance-abuse screening and intervention, but organizational approaches (e.g., EMR tools and workflow) may matter more than PCP or patient factors in determining screening.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Addiction science & clinical practice
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment for alcohol disorders has traditionally been abstinence-oriented, but evaluating the merits of a low-risk drinking outcome as part of a primary treatment endpoint is a timely issue given new pertinent regulatory guidelines. This study explores a posttreatment low-risk drinking outcome as a predictor of future drinking and problem severity outcomes among individuals with alcohol use disorders in a large private, not for profit, integrated care health plan.
Study participants include adults with alcohol use disorders at 6 months (N = 995) from 2 large randomized studies. Logistic regression models were used to explore the relationship between past 30-day drinker status at 6 months posttreatment (abstinent [66%], low-risk drinking [14%] defined as nonabstinence and no days of 5+ drinking, and heavy drinking [20%] defined as 1 or more days of 5+ drinking) and 12-month outcomes, including drinking status and Addiction Severity Index measures of medical, psychiatric, family/social, and employment severity, controlling for baseline covariates.
Compared to heavy drinkers, abstinent individuals and low-risk drinkers at 6 months were more likely to be abstinent or low-risk drinkers at 12 months (adj. ORs = 16.7 and 3.4, respectively; p < 0.0001); though, the benefit of abstinence was much greater than that of low-risk drinking. Compared to heavy drinkers, abstinent and low-risk drinkers were similarly associated with lower 12-month psychiatric severity (adj. ORs = 1.8 and 2.2, respectively, p < 0.01) and family/social problem severity (adj. OR = 2.2; p < 0.01). While abstinent individuals had lower 12-month employment severity than heavy drinkers (adj. OR = 1.9; p < 0.01), low-risk drinkers did not differ from heavy drinkers. The drinking groups did not differ on 12-month medical problem severity.
Compared to heavy drinkers, low-risk drinkers did as well as abstinent individuals for many of the outcomes important to health and addiction policy. Thus, an endpoint that allows low-risk drinking may be tenable for individuals undergoing alcohol specialty treatment.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of age, common life transitions, treatment, and social support on outcomes 5-9 years after alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment intake.
Participants were patients from a large outpatient AOD treatment program in an integrated health plan. There were 1,951 participants interviewed at intake, of whom 1,646 (84%) completed one or more telephone follow-up interviews at 5, 7, and 9 years. Measures included AOD use based on the Addiction Severity Index; treatment; and changes in marital, employment, and health status in the years between each follow-up. We compared participants by age group (18-39, 40-54, and ≥55 years old at intake) and examined factors (time invariant and time varying) associated with outcomes at 5, 7, and 9 years by fitting mixed-effects logistic random intercept models.
Changes in marital, employment, and health status varied significantly by age. Factors associated with remission across Years 5-9 included being in the middle-aged versus younger group (p < .001); female gender (p < .001); not losing a partner to separation, divorce, or death (p < .001); not experiencing a decline in health (p = .021); having any close friends supportive of recovery (p < .001); and not having any close friends who encourage AOD use (p < .001). Additional predictors, including employment changes, varied by drug versus alcohol abstinence outcome measures.
Negative life transitions vary by age and are associated with worse outcomes. Older age and social support are associated with long-term AOD remission and abstinence. Findings inform treatment strategies to enhance recovery across the life span.
Preview · Article · May 2012 · Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined stability of remission in patients who were abstainers and non-problem users at 1-year after entering private, outpatient alcohol and drug treatment. We examined: (a) How does risk of relapse change over time? (b) What was the risk of relapse for non-problem users versus abstainers? (c) What individual, treatment, and extra-treatment characteristics predicted time to relapse, and did these differ by non-problem use versus abstinence?
The sample consisted of 684 adults in remission (i.e., abstainers or non-problem users) 1 year following treatment intake. Participants were interviewed at intake, and 1, 5, 7, 9, and 11 years after intake. We used discrete-time survival analysis to examine when relapse is most likely to occur and predictors of relapse.
Relapse was most likely at 5-year, and least likely at 11-year follow-up. Non-problem users had twice the odds of relapse compared to abstainers. Younger individuals and those with fewer 12-step meetings and shorter index treatment had higher odds of relapse than others. We found no significant interactions between non-problem use and the other covariates suggesting that significant predictors of outcome did not differ for non-problem users.
Non-problem use is not an optimal 1-year outcome for those in an abstinence-oriented, heterogeneous substance use treatment program. Future research should examine whether these results are found in harm reduction treatment and self-help models, or in those with less severe problems. Results suggest treatment retention and 12-step participation are prognostic markers of long-term positive outcomes for those achieving remission at 1 year.
No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Drug and alcohol dependence
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How best to provide ongoing services to patients with substance use disorders to sustain long-term recovery is a significant clinical and policy question that has not been adequately addressed. Analyzing nine years of prospective data for 991 adults who entered substance abuse treatment in a private, nonprofit managed care health plan, this study aimed to examine the components of a continuing care model (primary care, specialty substance abuse treatment, and psychiatric services) and their combined effect on outcomes over nine years after treatment entry.
In a longitudinal observational study, follow-up measures included self-reported alcohol and drug use, Addiction Severity Index scores, and service utilization data extracted from the health plan databases. Remission, defined as abstinence or nonproblematic use, was the outcome measure.
A mixed-effects logistic random intercept model controlling for time and other covariates found that yearly primary care, and specialty care based on need as measured at the prior time point, were positively associated with remission over time. Persons receiving continuing care (defined as having yearly primary care and specialty substance abuse treatment and psychiatric services when needed) had twice the odds of achieving remission at follow-ups (p<.001) as those without.
Continuing care that included both primary care and specialty care management to support ongoing monitoring, self-care, and treatment as needed was important for long-term recovery of patients with substance use disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the effect of alcohol assessment in medical settings has received attention, the longitudinal study of such efforts has been restricted to studying a single assessment/intervention dose. Such interventions can be recurrent and have effects on subsequent problem drinking.
A sample of problem drinkers in the general population (n = 672) and with admissions to chemical-dependency programs (n = 926) was interviewed at baseline and 1, 3, 5, and 7 years later. At each wave, respondents were asked about their drinking, their medical visits, and the intensity of the medical contact (whether during the visit they were asked about their drinking and, if so, whether they received or were referred to alcohol treatment).
Rates of problem drinking declined over time, from 48% at the 1-year follow up to 38% at the 7-year follow-up. Problem drinkers were more likely at each wave to receive or be referred to treatment. Alcohol and drug severity increased with more intensive medical-contact types over time. Predicting subsequent problem drinking status from prior intensity of medical contact, odds of problem drinking at subsequent waves decreased with time, age, and prior drug severity while increasing with volume and alcohol severity. Odds of problem drinking were lower among prior problem drinkers receiving assessment and treatment/referral, compared with the assessed-only group. Examined separately, this effect was found only for those drinkers with lower volumes (average < 0.5 drinks/day). Conclusions: Alcohol assessment may be effective in reducing problem drinking but may be most effective among the non-heaviest drinkers.
Preview · Article · May 2011 · Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the association between stopping smoking at 1 year after substance use treatment intake and long-term substance use outcomes. Nine years of prospective data from 1185 adults (39% female) in substance use treatment at a private health care setting were analyzed by multivariate logistic generalized estimating equation models. At 1 year, 14.1% of 716 participants who smoked cigarettes at intake reported stopping smoking, and 10.7% of the 469 non-smokers at intake reported smoking. After adjusting for sociodemographics, substance use severity and diagnosis at intake, length of stay in treatment, and substance use status at 1 year, those who stopped smoking at 1 year were more likely to be past-year abstinent from drugs, or in past-year remission of drugs and alcohol combined, at follow-ups than those who continued to smoke (OR=2.4, 95% CI: 1.2-4.7 and OR=1.6, 95% CI: 1.1-2.4, respectively). Stopping smoking at 1 year also predicted past-year alcohol abstinence through 9 years after intake among those with drug-only dependence (OR=2.4, 95% CI: 1.2-4.5). We found no association between past-year alcohol abstinence and change in smoking status at 1 year for those with alcohol dependence or other substance use diagnoses when controlling for alcohol use status at 1 year. Stopping smoking during the first year after substance use treatment intake predicted better long-term substance use outcomes through 9 years after intake. Findings support promoting smoking cessation among smoking clients in substance use treatment.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Drug and alcohol dependence
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the associations between psychiatric diagnoses, substance use disorders, health services, and mortality among 9751 HIV-infected patients (≥14 years old) in a large, private medical care program, in a retrospective cohort design over a 12-year period. All study data were extracted from computerized clinical and administrative databases. Results showed that 25.4% (n = 2472) of the 9751 study subjects had received a psychiatric diagnosis (81.1% had major depression, 17.1% had panic disorder, 14.2% had bipolar disorder, and 8.1% had anorexia/bulimia); and 25.5% (n = 2489) had been diagnosed with substance use disorder; 1180 (12.1%) patients had received both psychiatric and substance diagnoses. In comparison to patients with neither a psychiatric diagnosis nor a SU diagnosis, the highest risk of death was found among patients with dual psychiatric and substance use diagnoses who had no psychiatric treatment visits and no substance treatment (relative hazards [RH] = 4.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.35 to 7.40). Among dually diagnosed patients, receiving psychiatric and/or substance use disorder treatment somewhat reduced the risk of death compared to patients with neither diagnosis. The lowest risks of death were observed among patients with a single diagnosis who had received corresponding treatment. Our study findings suggest that screening for psychiatric and substance problems at the initiation and during the course of HIV/AIDS treatment and providing psychiatric and substance use disorder treatment may extend life for these vulnerable patients.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · AIDS patient care and STDs
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This document reports the consensus of an interdisciplinary panel of research and clinical experts charged with reviewing the use of opioids for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) and formulating guidelines for future research. Prescribing opioids for chronic noncancer pain has recently escalated in the United States. Contrasting with increasing opioid use are: 1) The lack of evidence supporting long-term effectiveness; 2) Escalating misuse of prescription opioids including abuse and diversion; and 3) Uncertainty about the incidence and clinical salience of multiple, poorly characterized adverse drug events (ADEs) including endocrine dysfunction, immunosuppression and infectious disease, opioid-induced hyperalgesia and xerostomia, overdose, falls and fractures, and psychosocial complications. Chief among the limitations of current evidence are: 1) Sparse evidence on long-term opioid effectiveness in chronic pain patients due to the short-term time frame of clinical trials; 2) Insufficiently comprehensive outcome assessment; and 3) Incomplete identification and quantification of ADEs. The panel called for a strategic interdisciplinary approach to the problem domain in which basic scientists and clinicians cooperate to resolve urgent issues and generate a comprehensive evidence base. It offered 4 recommendations in 3 areas: 1) A research strategy for studying the effectiveness of long-term opioid pharmacotherapy; 2) Improvements in evidence-generation methodology; and 3) Potential research topics for generating new evidence. PERSPECTIVE: Prescribing opioids for CNCP has outpaced the growth of scientific evidence bearing on the benefits and harms of these interventions. The need for a strong evidence base is urgent. This guideline offers a strategic approach to creating a comprehensive evidence base to guide safe and effective management of CNCP.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society