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National Treatment Center Study
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Comparison of Methadone Units Within and Outside the CTN


NIDA's Clinical Trials Network was established to allow evidence-based psychosocial treatments and pharmacotherapies to be tested in "real world" community-based treatment settings. However, as of yet it has not been established to what extent the CTN-affiliated treatment programs reflect the "real world." This may have significant implications for the effectiveness of dissemination efforts to bring research findings into practice outside the CTN. While data are now available from other UGA studies to assess the representativeness of psychosocial counseling-based programs in the CTN, there are no data available with which to assess the representativeness of the 50 opioid treatment units in the CTN. Because several of the CTN’s early protocols focused on the implementation of treatment approaches appropriate for opiate-dependent patients, it is important to understand whether these findings can be expected to translate to OTPs outside the CTN. This project drew a random sample of N=50 OTPs from the universe of methadone facilities outside the CTN, comprising a valid comparison group. Data were collected from each of these programs via face-to-face interviews with program directors about organizational characteristics, staffing, service availability, and use of evidence-based practices. These visits were augmented with mail questionnaires to each program’s counseling staff, to assess clinicians' familiarity with, receptivity to, and use of two practices validated in the CTN for opiate-dependent patients. Specifically, the study examined familiarity with and use of buprenorphine and contingency management in methadone units within and outside the CTN.  These data can be compared to identical data that have been collected from OTPs in the CTN under a separate UGA study.  We hypothesized that CTN-affiliated units would be significantly different than non-CTN units in terms of their organizational structure, absorptive capacity, and overall propensity to adopt evidence-based practices. The data collected in this study allow for conclusions about potential barriers to effective dissemination of evidence-based treatment for opiate dependence from CTN units to methadone programs in the "real world."

Principal Investigator: Lori J. Ducharme
Funding Source: NIDA
Funding Period: September 2005 - August 2007


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