Use your browser's back button to choose another title or click here for a New Search.

How to Get the Article

 Email CTN Library (free)

Journal subscriber access


Bookmark and Share




The Role of Behavioral Interventions in Buprenorphine Maintenance Treatment: A Review.

American Journal of Psychiatry 2017;174(8):738-747. [doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16070792]

Kathleen M. Carroll, PhD (Yale University School of Medicine, NEC Node), Roger D. Weiss, MD (Harvard Medical School, NEC Node).

Although counseling is a required part of office-based buprenorphine treatment of opioid use disorders, the nature of what constitutes appropriate counseling is unclear and controversial. This paper is a review of the literature on the role, nature, and intensity of behavioral interventions in office-based buprenorphine treatment, including the NIDA Clinical Trials Network's Prescription Opiate Abuse Treatment Study (POATS, CTN-0030). The authors conducted a review of randomized controlled studies testing the efficacy of adding a behavioral intervention to buprenorphine maintenance treatment.

Four key studies showed no benefit from adding a behavioral intervention to buprenorphine plus medical management, and found studies indicated some benefit for specific behavioral interventions, primarily contingency management. The authors examined the findings from the negative trials in the context of six questions: 1) Is buprenorphine that effective? 2) Is medical management that effective? 3) Are behavioral interventions that ineffective in this population? 4) How has research design affected the results of studies of buprenorphine plus behavioral treatment? 5) What do we know about subgroups of patients who do and those who do not seem to benefit from behavioral interventions? 6) What should clinicians aim for in terms of treatment outcome in buprenorphine maintenance?

Conclusions: High-quality medical management may suffice for some patients, but there are few data regarding the types of individuals for whom medical management is sufficient. Physicians should consider a stepped-care model in which patients may begin with relatively nonintensive treatment, with increased intensity for patients who struggle early in treatment. Finally, with 6-month retention rates seldom exceeding 50% and poor outcomes following dropout, we must explore innovative strategies for enhancing retention in buprenorphine treatment. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2017)

Keywords: Behavior therapy | Buprenorphine | Contingency management (CM) | CTN platform/ancillary study | Literature review | Medical management | Motivational incentives | Opioid dependence | Pharmacological therapy | Research design | Retention - Treatment | American Journal of Psychiatry (journal)

Document No: 1245, PMID: 27978771, PMCID: PMC5474206 (available 2/1/2018).

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 12/20/2016.

Carroll, Kathleen M. search mail
Weiss, Roger D. search mail
NIDA-CTN-0030 www
New England Consortium www

dark blue line
Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 8/2017 --
dark blue line