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Vol. 12, No. 2, 2006
Issue release date: March 2006
Eur Addict Res 2006;12:74–82

Determinants of Health-Related Quality of Life of Opiate Users at Entry to Low-Threshold Methadone Programs

Millson P. · Challacombe L. · Villeneuve P.J. · Strike C.J. · Fischer B. · Myers T. · Shore R. · Hopkins S.
aDepartment of Public Health Sciences, bHIV Studies Unit, and cDepartment of Criminology, University of Toronto; dHealth Canada, Ottawa; eCentre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto; fStreet Health Centre, Kingston; gKFL&A Health Unit, Kingston; hThe Works, and iToronto Department of Public Health, Toronto, Canada

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Objective: The aim of this study was to conduct an exploratory analysis of factors associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among opiate users at entry to low-threshold methadone treatment. Methods: The SF-36 questionnaire was administered to 145 opiate users at enrollment into low-threshold methadone maintenance programs. ANOVA and correlational analyses were performed to investigate the determinants of poor physical and mental composite summary scales (PCS and MCS) of the SF-36 among opiate users. Stepwise regression methods were also employed to fit PCS and MCS multivariate models. Results: Age, employment status, chronic medical conditions, hospitalization, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and age at first injection episode were significantly associated with PCS. Mental health problems, sexual abuse, physical abuse, the use of sedatives, the use of cocaine, the number of days of cocaine use, sedative use and multiple substance use in the past month were significantly associated with MCS. The variances in the MCS and PCS were not readily explained by any one factor. Conclusion: The multiplicity of factors influencing HRQOL of opiate users suggests the need for a range of services within the context of a methadone program, addressing primary medical care needs as well as treatment for both mental health problems and abuse issues.

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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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