Social and structural barriers for adherence to methadone maintenance treatment among Vietnamese opioid dependence patients

Bach Xuan Tran, Long Hoang Nguyen, Tung Thanh Tran, Carl A. Latkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Introduction Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) services may reduce the risk of HIV transmission if patients completely adhere to the treatment. Identifying adherence patterns and potential related factors is vital for the sustainability of MMT program in Vietnam. This study examined social and structural factors associated with adherence to MMT among patients in different service delivery models. Materials and methods A total of 510 patients at three MMT clinics in Hanoi were interviewed. Measures of self-reported adherence included the number of missed doses in the past 7 days and the level of adherence in the past 30 days using a visual analog scale (VAS) scoring from 0 (non-adherence) to 100 (perfect adherence). Multivariate regressions were employed to identify factors associated with non-adherence to MMT. Results A total of 17.7% of participants reported incomplete MMT adherence in the last 30 days and 8.3% reported missing a dose in the last seven days, respectively. Living with HIV/AIDS, poor self-care and usual activities, and disclosure of health issues to spouses or intimate partners were associated with non-adherence. Those patients with pain or depression were more likely to report better adherence. Disclosing health status to spouse/partner increased the risk of incomplete adherence, while disclosing to friends reduced the number of missed dose in the last seven days. Patients attending clinics with comprehensive services had a lower VAS score of adherence compared to those enrolling in clinics with only MMT and general health care. Conclusions Sustaining the compliance of patients to MMT is principal in the rapid expansion of this service in Vietnam. It is necessary to address the complexity of health care demands of drug users, their difficulties to be rehabilitated into workforce and society, and the stigmatization to maximize the outcomes of MMT program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0190941
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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