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 journalArticlepeer-review

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 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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