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