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Quality of life among opiate-dependent individuals after starting methadone maintenance treatment

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Abstract
Although the results of evaluation studies on the effects of methadone maintenance treatment are mainly positive, there has been a lot of criticism about the one-sided focus on socially desirable outcomes, starting from a utilitarian perspective and the lack of attention to the impact of this treatment on individuals’ quality of life (QoL). Due to the social consequences of substance abuse, most outcome studies in substance abuse research focus on socially desirable aspects such as termination of drug use, reducing the health risks involved with drug use and the absence of criminal involvement, with limited attention to outcomes important for drug users themselves. The central aim of this dissertation is to explore the concept ‘Quality of Life’ (QoL) in opiate-dependent individuals and how QoL can be successfully integrated in the treatment and support for opiate-dependent individuals. Attention is given to how opiate-dependent individuals define the concept of QoL starting from their own perspectives, factors that influence their current QoL and the impact of following methadone treatment on QoL. Based on the orthopedagogical ground of this dissertation, an integration of different methodological approaches (quantitative and qualitative) is used. A cohort of 159 opiate-dependent individuals who started an outpatient methadone treatment at least 5 years ago participated in this study. Drug users perceived the concept QoL as a broad and multidimensional concept, not primarily associated with health. ‘Social inclusion’, ‘self-determination’ and ‘personal relationships’ were most frequently mentioned as important domains of QoL, illustrating the contextual character of the concept. Five to ten years after starting methadone treatment opiate-dependent individuals were still experiencing low QoL-scores on a number of domains (e.g. finances, family relations), illustrating the long-term negative consequences of an opiate-dependent life style. The impact of methadone on QoL was experienced as highly ambivalent. QoL of opiate-dependent individuals was mainly determined by psychosocial and psychological variables, with a limited impact of variables related with a person’s physical health. No direct effect of drug-related variables was retrieved, and the effect of current heroin use was indirect and restricted to a limited number of domains.
Keywords
opiate dependence, substitution treatment, methadone maintenance treatment, Quality of life

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
De Maeyer, Jessica. “Quality of Life Among Opiate-dependent Individuals After Starting Methadone Maintenance Treatment.” Orthopedagogische Reeks Gent 2010 : n. pag. Print.
APA
De Maeyer, Jessica. (2010). Quality of life among opiate-dependent individuals after starting methadone maintenance treatment. Orthopedagogische Reeks Gent. Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
De Maeyer, Jessica. 2010. “Quality of Life Among Opiate-dependent Individuals After Starting Methadone Maintenance Treatment.” Orthopedagogische Reeks Gent. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Maeyer, Jessica. 2010. “Quality of Life Among Opiate-dependent Individuals After Starting Methadone Maintenance Treatment.” Orthopedagogische Reeks Gent. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.
Vancouver
1.
De Maeyer J. Quality of life among opiate-dependent individuals after starting methadone maintenance treatment. Orthopedagogische Reeks Gent. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences; 2010.
IEEE
[1]
J. De Maeyer, “Quality of life among opiate-dependent individuals after starting methadone maintenance treatment,” Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent, Belgium, 2010.
@phdthesis{1144386,
  abstract     = {Although the results of evaluation studies on the effects of methadone maintenance treatment are mainly positive, there has been a lot of criticism about the one-sided focus on socially desirable outcomes, starting from a utilitarian perspective and the lack of attention to the impact of this treatment on individuals’ quality of life (QoL). Due to the social consequences of substance abuse, most outcome studies in substance abuse research focus on socially desirable aspects such as termination of drug use, reducing the health risks involved with drug use and the absence of criminal involvement, with limited attention to outcomes important for drug users themselves. 
The central aim of this dissertation is to explore the concept ‘Quality of Life’ (QoL) in opiate-dependent individuals and how QoL can be successfully integrated in the treatment and support for opiate-dependent individuals. Attention is given to how opiate-dependent individuals define the concept of QoL starting from their own perspectives, factors that influence their current QoL and the impact of following methadone treatment on QoL. Based on the orthopedagogical ground of this dissertation, an integration of different methodological approaches (quantitative and qualitative) is used. A cohort of 159 opiate-dependent individuals who started an outpatient methadone treatment at least 5 years ago participated in this study.
Drug users perceived the concept QoL as a broad and multidimensional concept, not primarily associated with health. ‘Social inclusion’, ‘self-determination’ and ‘personal relationships’ were most frequently mentioned as important domains of QoL, illustrating the contextual character of the concept. Five to ten years after starting methadone treatment opiate-dependent individuals were still experiencing low QoL-scores on a number of domains (e.g. finances, family relations), illustrating the long-term negative consequences of an opiate-dependent life style. The impact of methadone on QoL was experienced as highly ambivalent. QoL of opiate-dependent individuals was mainly determined by psychosocial and psychological variables, with a limited impact of variables related with a person’s physical health. No direct effect of drug-related variables was retrieved, and the effect of current heroin use was indirect and restricted to a limited number of domains.},
  author       = {De Maeyer, Jessica},
  issn         = {0779-1046},
  keywords     = {opiate dependence,substitution treatment,methadone maintenance treatment,Quality of life},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {X, 242},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  series       = {Orthopedagogische Reeks Gent},
  title        = {Quality of life among opiate-dependent individuals after starting methadone maintenance treatment},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2010},
}