A Comparison of Reinforcement Based Treatment (RBT) versus RBT plus Recovery Housing (RBTRH)

Michelle Tuten, Julia M. Shadur, Maxine Stitzer, Hendrée E. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Reinforcement-based treatment (RBT) plus recovery housing (RBTRH) improves outcomes for individuals with opioid use disorders. No studies have examined the efficacy of RBT in the absence of abstinent-contingent housing. Methods We compared highly similar participants from a study of outpatient RBT (RBT, n = 55) and the RBTRH (n = 80) arm of a randomized trial wherein participants received abstinent-contingent payment for recovery housing sponsored by the research program. Abstinence and employment outcomes were assessed at one, three, and six months. Regression was used to identify predictors of abstinence. Sensitivity analyses explored the impact of housing on outcomes. Results RBT and RBTRH participants had similar abstinence and employment outcomes. Predictors of abstinence in the sample included recovery housing residence and employment. However, a distinct RBT sub-group emerged, as 33% of the sample accessed self-pay RH (RBTSPRH). Sensitivity analyses compared the two RH groups (self-pay and program-supported) to RBT outpatient treatment (RBT). The RBTSPRH and RBTRH groups had similar abstinence outcomes, and both groups had superior abstinence outcomes compared to RBT. The RBTSPRH group had the most sustained effects relative to RBT, including higher abstinence rates, and more favorable employment outcomes at six months (ps < .05). The RBTSPRH group reported more days of employment compared to both the RBT and RBTRH groups at three months (ps < .05). Conclusions Findings highlight the importance of recovery housing for promoting improved outcomes among RBT participants. Research is needed to explore the aspects of recovery housing versus outpatient treatment that are associated with improved outcomes in the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Cocaine use
  • Opioid use
  • Treatment outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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