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Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for Methadone Maintenance Therapy Patients: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based employment model for people with severe mental illness, but it has not been evaluated for clients enrolled in substance abuse treatment programs. This study evaluated the effectiveness of IPS for people with opioid use disorders enrolled in an opioid treatment program. Within a randomized controlled experiment, 45 patients receiving methadone maintenance therapy were assigned to either IPS or a 6-month waitlist. The waitlist group received IPS after 6 months. The primary outcome assessed over 1 year compared the attainment of a job for the IPS condition to the waitlist comparison group. During the first 6 months after enrollment, 11 (50%) active IPS participants gained competitive employment compared to 1 (5%) waitlist participant (Χ 2 = 12.0, p < 0.001). Over 12 months of enrollment, 11 (50%) IPS participants gained competitive employment compared to 5 (22%) waitlist participants (Χ 2 = 3.92, p = 0.07). We conclude that IPS holds promise as an employment intervention for people with opioid use disorders in methadone maintenance treatment, but larger trials with longer follow-up are needed.

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Acknowledgements

For this unfunded pilot project, we gratefully acknowledge the in-kind support from the CODA, Inc. administration. We thank the CODA Research Department for their implementation and conduct of the trial. A special thanks to the patients and study participants.

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Correspondence to Carrie E. Lones.

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Lones, C.E., Bond, G.R., McGovern, M.P. et al. Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for Methadone Maintenance Therapy Patients: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Adm Policy Ment Health 44, 359–364 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-017-0793-2

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