Assessing the effectiveness of an Internet-based videoconferencing platform for delivering intensified substance abuse counseling

Van L. King, Kenneth Stoller, Michael Kidorf, Kori Kindbom, Steven Hursh, Thomas Brady, Robert Brooner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Enhanced schedules of counseling can improve response to routine opioid-agonist treatment, although it is associated with increased time demands that enhance patient resistance and nonadherence. Internet-based counseling can reduce these concerns by allowing patients to participate from home. This study assesses treatment satisfaction and response to Internet-based (CRC Health Group's e-Getgoing) group counseling for partial responders to methadone maintenance treatment. Patients testing positive for an illicit substance (n = 37) were randomly assigned to e-Getgoing or onsite group counseling and followed for 6 weeks. Patients in both conditions responded favorably to intensified treatment by achieving at least 2 consecutive weeks of abstinence and 100% attendance to return to less-intensive care (e-Getgoing: 70% vs. routine: 71%, ns). Treatment satisfaction was good and comparable across conditions. E-Getgoing patients expressed a preference for the Internet-based service, reporting convenience and increased confidentiality as major reasons. Integrating Internet-based group counseling with on-site treatment services could help expand the continuum of care in methadone maintenance clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009



  • Adaptive treatment
  • E-therapy
  • Internet psychotherapy
  • Methadone maintenance
  • Stepped treatment
  • Videoconference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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