Persons with alcohol and other drug dependence who received chronic care management including relapse prevention counseling and medical, addiction and psychiatric treatment were no more abstinent than those who received usual primary care, according to a study in the September 18 issue of JAMA.
Chronic care management (CCM) is a way of delivering care that has been shown to be effective for chronic medical and mental health conditions. "Chronic care management is multidisciplinary patient-centered proactive care, a way to organize services that provides coordination and expertise, and has been effective for depression, medical illnesses, and tobacco dependence (a substance use disorder)," the authors write. Trials of integrated medical and addiction care suggest that CCM may be effective for treating addiction, particularly since care elements long known to be effective for addiction overlap with CCM approaches.
Richard Saitz, M.D., M.P.H., of Boston Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a study to examine whether CCM for alcohol and other drug dependence improves substance use outcomes compared with usual primary care. Participants (n = 563) were recruited between September 2006 to September 2008 from a freestanding residential detoxification unit, and from referrals to an urban teaching hospital and from advertisements; 95 percent completed 12-month follow-up. Participants were randomized to receive CCM (n=282) or no CCM (n=281).
The chronic care management group received longitudinal care coordinated with a primary care clinician; motivational enhancement therapy; relapse prevention counseling; and on-site medical, addiction, and psychiatric treatment, social work assistance, and referrals (to specialty addiction treatment mutual help). The primary care group received a timely appointment and a list of addiction treatment resources including a telephone number to arrange counseling.
The researchers found no difference in abstinence from stimulants, opioids, and heavy drinking between the CCM intervention and control group (44 percent vs. 42 percent, respectively, at 12 months). In a subgroup of patients with alcohol dependence, there were fewer alcohol problems among those who received the intervention.
The authors did not detect differences in secondary outcomes of addiction severity, health-related quality of life, or drug problems.
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