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Counselor Attitudes Toward Contingency Management for Substance Use Disorder: Effectiveness, Acceptability, and Endorsement of Incentives for Treatment Attendance and Abstinence.

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2015;57:41-48. [doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2015.04.012]

Lydia Aletraris, PhD, Jeff S. Shelton, Paul M. Roman, PhD (all from University of Georgia).

Despite research demonstrating its effectiveness, use of contingency management (CM) in substance use disorder treatment has been limited. Given the vital role that counselors play as arbiters in the use of therapies, examination of their use of and attitudes toward CM could provide insight into how to better promote further use of the intervention. This paper examines 731 counselors' attitudes toward the effectiveness and acceptability of CM in treatment, as well as their specific attitudes toward both unspecified and tangible incentives for treatment attendance and abstinence. Compared to cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and community reinforcement approach, counselors rated CM as the least effective and least acceptable psychosocial intervention. Exposure through use of CM in a counselor's employing organization was positively associated with perceptions of acceptability, agreement that incentives have a positive effect on the client-counselor relationship, and endorsement of tangible incentives for abstinence. Endorsement of tangible incentives for treatment attendance was significantly greater among counselors with more years in the treatment field, and counselors who held at least a Master's degree. Counselors' adaptability or openness to innovations was also positively associated with attitudes toward CM. Further, female counselors and counselors with a greater 12-step philosophy were less likely to endorse the use of incentives.

A highlight of this study is that it offers the first specific assessment of the impact of "Promoting Awareness of Motivational Incentives" (PAMI), a web-based tool based on findings of CM protocols tested within the Clinical Trials Network (CTN), on counselors employed outside the CTN. We found that 10% of counselors had accessed PAMI, and those who had accessed PAMI were more likely to report a higher degree of perceived effectiveness of CM than those who had not.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of SUD treatment will be enhanced by the breadth of the menu of treatment offerings that are offered by providers, assuming appropriate fidelity to the design of these interventions. Given the barriers to CM adoption, identifying predictors of positive CM attitudes among counselors can help diffuse CM into routine clinical practice. Exposure is important in ensuring proper delivery of such treatment, and training could help decrease the reluctance of paying individuals for treatment attendance or abstinence. This study lays in the groundwork for vital research on the impact of multiple web-based educational strategies. Future research should focus on differential effectiveness of different educational strategies, consider the attitudes of patients themselves, and explore the orientations toward practices such as CM among third-party payers. Given the barriers to CM adoption, identifying predictors of positive attitudes among counselors can help diffuse CM into routine clinical practice. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2015)

Keywords: Community health services | CTN platform/ancillary study | Hepatitis C | HIV/AIDS | HIV rapid testing | Sexually transmitted diseases | AIDS and Behavior (journal)

Document No: 1456, PMID: 25952768, PMCID: PMC4561006.

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 5/12/2015.


Aletraris, Lydia mail
Roman, Paul M. mail
Shelton, Jeff S. mail
NIDA-CTN-0006 www
NIDA-CTN-0007 www

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