A comparison of buprenorphine treatment in clinic and primary care settings: a randomised trial

Gibson, Amy E., Doran, Christopher M., Bell, James R., Ryan, Anni and Lintzeris, Nicholas (2003) A comparison of buprenorphine treatment in clinic and primary care settings: a randomised trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 179 1: 38-42.

Author Gibson, Amy E.
Doran, Christopher M.
Bell, James R.
Ryan, Anni
Lintzeris, Nicholas
Title A comparison of buprenorphine treatment in clinic and primary care settings: a randomised trial
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-729X
Publication date 2003-01-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 179
Issue 1
Start page 38
End page 42
Total pages 5
Place of publication Sydney
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Co.
Language eng
Subject 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Abstract Objective: To compare outcomes, costs and incremental cost-effectiveness of heroin detoxification performed in a specialist clinic and in general practice. Design and setting: Randomised controlled trial set in a specialist outpatient drug treatment centre and six office-based general practices in inner city Sydney, Australia. Participants: 115 people seeking treatment for heroin dependence, of whom 97 (84%) were reinterviewed at Day 8, and 78 (68%) at Day 91. Interventions: Participants were randomly allocated to primary care or a specialist clinic, and received buprenorphine for 5 days for detoxification, then were offered either maintenance therapy with methadone or buprenorphine, relapse prevention with naltrexone, or counselling alone. Main outcome measures: Completion of detoxification, engagement in post-detoxification treatment, and heroin use assessed at Days 8 and 91. Costs relevant to providing treatment, including staff time, medication use and diagnostic procedures, with abstinence from heroin use on Day 8 as the primary outcome measure. Results: There were no significant differences in the proportions completing detoxification (40/56 [71%] primary care v 46/59 [78%] clinic), participating in postwithdrawal treatment (28/56 [50%] primary care v 36/59 [61%] clinic), reporting no opiate use during the withdrawal period (13/56 [23%] primary care v 13/59 [22%] clinic), and in duration of postwithdrawal treatment by survival analysis. Most participants in both groups entered postwithdrawal buprenorphine maintenance. On an intention-to-treat basis, self-reported heroin use in the month before the Day 91 interview was significantly lower than at baseline (27 days/month at baseline, 14 days/month at Day 91; P < 0.001) and did not differ between groups. Buprenorphine detoxification in primary care was estimated to be $24 more expensive per patient than treatment at the clinic. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio reveals that, in this context, it costs $20 to achieve a 1% improvement in outcome in primary care. Conclusions: Buprenorphine-assisted detoxification from heroin in specialist clinic and primary care settings had similar efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Buprenorphine treatment can be initiated safely in primary care settings by trained GPs.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Mon, 23 Mar 2009, 22:29:58 EST by Joanne Mellor on behalf of School of Public Health