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Coping Strategies as a Mediator of Internet-Delivered Psychosocial Treatment: Secondary Analysis from a NIDA CTN Multisite Effectiveness Trial.

Addictive Behaviors 2016;65:74-80. [doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.09.012]

Annie Lévesque, MD (Mount Sinai West Hospital), Aimee N. C. Campbell, PhD (Columbia University, GNY Node), Martina Pavlicova, PhD (Columbia University, GNY Node), Mei-Chen Hu, PhD (Columbia University, GNY Node), N. Robrina Walker, PhD (University of Texas, TX Node), Erin A. McClure, PhD (Medical University of South Carolina, SC Node), Udi E. Ghitza, PhD (NIDA Center for the Clinical Trials Network), Genie L. Bailey, MD (Stanley Street Treatment and Resources, NEC Node), Maxine L. Stitzer, PhD (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Edward V. Nunes, MD (Columbia University, GNY Node).

Coping strategies are a predictor of abstinence among patients with substance use disorders (SUD). However, little is known regarding the role of coping strategies in the effectiveness of the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA). Using data from a 12-week randomized control trial assessing the effectiveness of the Therapeutic Education System (TES), an internet-delivered version of the CRA combined with contingency management, this study tested the role of coping strategies as a mediator of treatment effectiveness. 507 participants entering 10 outpatient addiction treatment programs received either treatment-as-usual (TAU), a counselor-delivered treatment (Arm 1), or reduced TAU plus TES wherein 2 hours of TAU per week were replaced by TES (Arm 2). Abstinence from drugs and alcohol was evaluated using urine toxicology and self-report. Coping strategies were measured using the Coping Strategies Scale-Brief Version. Mediation analyses were done following Baron and Kenny's and path analysis approaches.

The average baseline coping strategies were not significantly different between the two treatment arms. Overall, TES intervention was significantly associated with higher coping strategies scores when accounting for baseline scores. Additionally, higher coping strategies scores at week 12 were associated with an increased likelihood of abstinence during the last 4 weeks of the treatment, while accounting for treatment assignment and baseline abstinence. The effect of TES intervention on abstinence was no longer significant after controlling for coping strategies scores at week 12.

Conclusions: Results of this analysis support the importance of coping skills as a partial mediator of the effectiveness of an internet-version of the CRA combined with contingency management. CRA is an efficacious behavioral approach but implementation is limited, often due to the resources required for proper training and delivery, barriers a standardized and web-based version could help address. This study supports the promising role of internet-assisted therapeutic approaches for substance use disorders and, most importantly, it provides additional evidence of the role of coping strategies as a mechanism of effective SUD treatment. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2016)

Keywords: Behavior therapy | Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) | Contingency Management (CM) | Coping skills | Coping Strategies Scale - Brief Version | CTN platform/ancillary study | Internet counseling | Motivational incentives | Therapeutic Education System (TES) | Addictive Behaviors (journal)

Document No: 1238, PMID: 27776269, PMCID: PMC5483182.

Submitted by Udi Ghitza, PhD, NIDA CCTN, 10/31/2016.

Bailey, Genie L. search mail
Campbell, Aimee N. C. search mail
Ghitza, Udi E. search mail
Hu, Mei-Chen search
Lévesque, Annie search mail
McClure, Erin A. search mail
Nunes, Edward V. search mail
Pavlicova, Martina search mail
Stitzer, Maxine L. search mail
Walker, N. Robrina mail
NIDA-CTN-0044 www

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