Health & Justice 2017;5:3,1-9. [doi: 10.1186/s40352-017-0048-z]
Joshua D. Lee, MD, MSc (New York University School of Medicine, GNY Node), Babak Tofighi, MD (New York University School of Medicine, GNY Node), Ryan McDonald, MA (New York University School of Medicine, GNY Node), Aimee N. C. Campbell, PhD, MSW (New York State Psychiatric Institute, GNY Node), Mei-Chen Hu, PhD (Columbia University, GNY Node), Edward V. Nunes, MD (New York State Psychiatric Hospital, GNY Node).
The acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of web-based interventions among criminal justice-involved populations are understudied. This study is a secondary analysis of baseline characteristics associated with criminal justice system (CJS) status as treatment outcome moderators among participants enrolling in a large randomized trial of a web-based psychosocial intervention (Therapeutic Education System [TES]) as part of outpatient addiction treatment.
Using data from CTN-0044 (Web Delivery of Evidence-Based, Psychosocial Treatment for Substance Use Disorders), the authors compared demographic and clinical characteristics, TES participation rates, and the trial's two co-primary outcomes (end of treatment abstinence and treatment retention) by self-reported CJS status at baseline: 1) CJS-mandated to community treatment (CJS-mandated), 2) CJS-recommended to treatment (CJS-recommended), 3) no CJS treatment mandate (CJS-none).
Results found that CJS-mandated (n=107) and CJS-recommended (n=69) participants differed from CJS-none (n=331) at baseline: CJS-mandated were significantly more likely to be male, screen negative for depression, and score lower for psychological distress and higher on physical health status; CJS-recommended were younger, more likely single, less likely to report no regular Internet use, and to report cannabis as the primary drug problem. Both CJS-involved (CJS-recommended and -mandate) groups were more likely to have been recently incarcerated. Among participants randomized to the TES arm, module completion was similar across the CJS subgroups. A three-way interaction of treatment, baseline abstinence, and CJS status showed no associations with the study's primary abstinence outcome.
Conclusions: Overall, CJS-involved participants in this study tended to be young, male, and in treatment for a primary cannabis problem. The feasibility and effectiveness of the web-based psychosocial intervention, TES, did not vary by CJS-mandated or CJS-recommended participants compared to CJS-none; CJS-involved participants appeared to experience the usual expected benefits in this large multisite randomized trial. These results should encourage treatment providers, policy makers, and CJS authorities to further consider online psychosocial interventions as viable and appropriate therapeutic approaches in CJS addiction treatment populations. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2017)
Keywords: Behavior therapy | Criminal justice system | CTN platform/ancillary study | Internet counseling | Mandated treatment | Marijuana | Retention - Treatment | Therapeutic Education System (TES) | Health & Justice (journal)
Document No: 1261, PMID: 28285466, PMCID: PMC5346353.
Submitted by the CTN Dissemination Librarians (3/20/2017).