Pilot study of a social network intervention for heroin users in opiate substitution treatment: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Article English OPEN
Day, Edward ; Copello, Alex ; Seddon, Jennifer L ; Christie, Marilyn ; Bamber, Deborah ; Powell, Charlotte ; George, Sanju ; Ball, Andrew ; Frew, Emma ; Freemantle, Nicholas (2013)
  • Publisher: BioMed Central
  • Journal: Trials, volume 14, pages 264-264 (issn: 1745-6215, eissn: 1745-6215)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-14-264, pmc: PMC3765136
  • Subject: Medicine (miscellaneous) | Randomized controlled trial, Social networks, Social behavior and network therapy (SBNT), Heroin use | Social networks | Social behavior and network therapy (SBNT) | Study Protocol | Heroin use | Pharmacology (medical) | Randomized controlled trial

Background Research indicates that 3% of people receiving opiate substitution treatment (OST) in the UK manage to achieve abstinence from all prescribed and illicit drugs within 3 years of commencing treatment, and there is concern that treatment services have become skilled at engaging people but not at helping them to enter a stage of recovery and drug abstinence. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse recommends the involvement of families and wider social networks in supporting drug users’ psychological treatment, and this pilot randomized controlled trial aims to evaluate the impact of a social network-focused intervention for patients receiving OST. Methods and design In this two-site, early phase, randomized controlled trial, a total of 120 patients receiving OST will be recruited and randomized to receive one of three treatments: 1) Brief Social Behavior and Network Therapy (B-SBNT), 2) Personal Goal Setting (PGS) or 3) treatment as usual. Randomization will take place following baseline assessment. Participants allocated to receive B-SBNT or PGS will continue to receive the same treatment that is routinely provided by drug treatment services, plus four additional sessions of either intervention. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 3 and 12 months. The primary outcome will be assessment of illicit heroin use, measured by both urinary analysis and self-report. Secondary outcomes involve assessment of dependence, psychological symptoms, social satisfaction, motivation to change, quality of life and therapeutic engagement. Family members (n = 120) of patients involved in the trial will also be assessed to measure the level of symptoms, coping and the impact of the addiction problem on the family member at baseline, 3 and 12 months. Discussion This study will provide experimental data regarding the feasibility and efficacy of implementing a social network intervention within routine drug treatment services in the UK National Health Service. The study will explore the impact of the intervention on both patients receiving drug treatment and their family members. Trial registration Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN22608399 ISRCTN22608399 registration: 27/04/2012 Date of first randomisation: 14/08/2012
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