Adherence to methadone maintenance treatment and associated factors among patients in Vietnamese mountainside areas

Long Hoang Nguyen, Huong Thu Thi Nguyen, Huong Lan Thi Nguyen, Bach Xuan Tran, Carl A. Latkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Medication adherence is essential to achieve successful methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). However, treatment adherence among MMT patients in the mountainous setting in Vietnam has not been yet investigated. This study aimed to explore the medication adherence and associated factors in MMT patients in Tuyen Quang, a mountainous province. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in two MMT clinics namely Tuyen Quang and Son Duong. Convenience sampling method was used to recruit patients. Adherence to MMT was assessed by using three questions: 1) number of days that they missed doses in the last 4 days; 2) whether they missed doses during the last weekend and 3) when they missed a dose within the last 3 months. Adherence was considered optimal if patients reported 'no' to three questions. Socioeconomic status, health status (measured by EuroQol-5 Dimensions - 5 Levels - EQ5D5L and Visual analogue scale - VAS), substance use and abuse and methods to support adherence were also collected. Results: Among 241 patients, 34.4% reported optimal adherence. Self-help was the most popular (89.2%) method used to support adherence. Risk factors of missing doses and suboptimal adherence included higher education and economic status; being a worker/farmer; longer duration of treatment; and suffering pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. Protective factors were older age, having problems in usual activities/self-care, higher EQ-VAS and EQ-5D index; and reminded by mobile phone and family members. Conclusions: This study found a high sub-optimal adherence rate among MMT patients in a mountainous setting in Vietnam. Measuring adherence by using several simple items could be used periodically to monitor the treatment adherence in the clinical setting. Family and mobile phone support would have a potential role in supporting patients to adhere treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
JournalSubstance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 8 2017


  • Adherence
  • MMT
  • Methadone
  • Mountainous
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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