• A pilot feasibility randomised controlled trial of an adjunct brief social network intervention in opiate substitution treatment services

      Day, Ed; Copello, Alex; Seddon, Jennifer L.; Christie, Marilyn; Bamber, Deborah; Powell, Charlotte; Bennett C.; Akhtar, Shabana; George, Sanju; Ball, Andrew; et al. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018-01-15)
      Background: Approximately 3% of people receiving opioid substitution therapy (OST) in the UK manage to achieve abstinence from prescribed and illicit drugs within three years of commencing treatment. Involvement of families and wider social networks in supporting psychological treatment may be an effective strategy in facilitating recovery, and this pilot study aimed to evaluate the impact of a social network-focused intervention for patients receiving OST. Methods: A two-site, open feasibility trial randomised patients receiving OST for at least 12 months but still reporting illicit opiate use in the past 28 days to one of three treatments: 1) treatment as usual (TAU), 2) Brief Social Behaviour and Network Therapy (B-SBNT)+TAU, or 3) Personal Goal Setting (PGS)+TAU. The two active interventions consisted of 4 sessions. There were 3 aims: 1) test the feasibility of recruiting OST patients to a trial of B-SBNT, and following them up over 12 months; 2) test the feasibility of training clinicians to deliver B-SBNT; 3) test whether B-SBNT reduces heroin use 3 and 12 months after treatment, and to explore potential mediating factors. The primary outcome for aim 3 was number of days of heroin use in the past month, and a range of secondary outcome measures were specified in advance (level of drug dependence, mental health, social satisfaction, therapist rapport, treatment satisfaction, social network size and support). Results: A total of 83 participants were randomised, and 70 (84%) were followed-up at 12 months. Fidelity analysis of showed that B-SBNT sessions were clearly distinguishable from PGS and TAU sessions, suggesting it was possible to train clinical staff to an adequate level of competence. No significant differences were found between the 3 intervention arms in the primary or secondary outcome measures. Attendance at psychosocial treatment intervention sessions was low across all three arms (44% overall). Conclusions: Patients receiving OST can be recruited into a trial of a social network-based intervention, but poor attendance at treatment sessions makes it uncertain whether an adequate dose of treatment was delivered. In order to achieve the benefits of psychosocial interventions, further work is needed to overcome poor engagement. Trial registration: ISRCTN Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN22608399. Date of registration: 27/04/2012. Date of first randomisation: 14/08/2012.
    • Pilot study of a social network intervention for heroin users in opiate substitution treatment: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

      Ball, Andrew; Frew, Emma; Freemantle, Nick; Day, Ed; Copello, Alex; Seddon, Jennifer L.; Christie, Marilyn; Bamber, Deborah; Powell, Charlotte; George, Sanju (BioMed Central, 2013-08-19)
      Background: Research indicates that 3% of people receiving opiate substitution treatment (OST) in the UK manage to achieve abstinence from all prescribed and illicit drugs within 3 years of commencing treatment, and there is concern that treatment services have become skilled at engaging people but not at helping them to enter a stage of recovery and drug abstinence. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse recommends the involvement of families and wider social networks in supporting drug users' psychological treatment, and this pilot randomized controlled trial aims to evaluate the impact of a social network-focused intervention for patients receiving OST.Methods and design: In this two-site, early phase, randomized controlled trial, a total of 120 patients receiving OST will be recruited and randomized to receive one of three treatments: 1) Brief Social Behavior and Network Therapy (B-SBNT), 2) Personal Goal Setting (PGS) or 3) treatment as usual. Randomization will take place following baseline assessment. Participants allocated to receive B-SBNT or PGS will continue to receive the same treatment that is routinely provided by drug treatment services, plus four additional sessions of either intervention. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 3 and 12 months. The primary outcome will be assessment of illicit heroin use, measured by both urinary analysis and self-report. Secondary outcomes involve assessment of dependence, psychological symptoms, social satisfaction, motivation to change, quality of life and therapeutic engagement. Family members (n = 120) of patients involved in the trial will also be assessed to measure the level of symptoms, coping and the impact of the addiction problem on the family member at baseline, 3 and 12 months.Discussion: This study will provide experimental data regarding the feasibility and efficacy of implementing a social network intervention within routine drug treatment services in the UK National Health Service. The study will explore the impact of the intervention on both patients receiving drug treatment and their family members.Trial registration: Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN22608399. ISRCTN22608399 registration: 27/04/2012. Date of first randomisation: 14/08/2012. © 2013 Day et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.