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Factors associated with retention in a methadone maintenance treatment program in heroin-dependent Han Chinese in Taiwan

Author(s): Jia-Fu Lee, Shih-Mao Lo, Yun-Hsuan Chang, Yue-Cune Chang, Sheng-Yu Lee, Ru-Band Lu

The longer patients remain in a methadone treatment program, the longer they stay away from drug abuse, and the more counseling and support services they are given, which means that the treatment is more likely to be effective. We analyzed the factors associated with retention in a methadone maintenance treatment in order to predict and improve the retention rate and compliance in heroin-dependent patients. We recruited 356 patients in a methadone maintenance program at a psychiatric hospital in northern Taiwan l. Most participants were male (n=295, 82.86%), had a troubled marriage (n=287, 80.62%), had attended only elementary or junior high school (n=225, 63.20%), and had to pay their own expenses (n=255, 71.62%). Cox’s proportional hazards model was used to evaluate the association of retention rates (up to 700 days) and to analyze the potential risk factors of gender, marital status, education level, payment method, and age.

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