Use of a low-cost incentive intervention to improve counseling attendance among methadone-maintained patients

Stacey C. Sigmon, Maxine L. Stitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite the importance of counseling in methadone maintenance treatment, many patients do not take advantage of these services. Incentives for attending group counseling were offered to methadone-maintained patients during an orientation phase of treatment or during required attendance at a relapse group later in treatment. Upon attending each counseling session, patients could draw for prizes under an escalating draw system with a 50% probability that draws would result in a prize. Incentives included small ($1), moderate ($5), and large ($20) prizes, with chances of winning inversely related to prize costs, and a maximum possible total of $160 per patient. It was anticipated that this policy would provide a relatively low-cost approach to improving counseling attendance in our methadone clinic. The incentive policy significantly increased the percent of counseling sessions attended (52% vs. 76%) and promoted periods of continuous attendance. These data further support the effectiveness of low-cost incentive programs in enhancing counseling attendance among methadone patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Keywords

  • Attendance
  • Contingency management
  • Counseling
  • Intermittent reinforcement
  • Methadone maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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