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Can Fam Physician. 2009 Nov;55(11):1108-1109.e5.

Short-term outcomes in patients attending a primary care-based addiction shared care program.

Author information

  • 1St Joseph's Health Centre, 30 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M6R 1B5. kahanm@stjoe.on.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate patient outcomes in an addiction shared care program that is managed by family physicians working in a primary care setting.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

The addiction shared care program at St Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto, Ont, which is staffed by a nurse clinician, an addiction therapist, a clinical fellow, and 6 family physicians in an academic family medicine unit.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants included patients who attended at least one session in the program. The patients were self-referred or referred by family doctors, government agencies, or the emergency department.

INTERVENTIONS:

The service provided brief counseling interventions, outpatient medical detoxification, pharmacotherapy, and follow-up, and there was communication with the referring family physicians.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes in self-reported substance use were measured through interviews at intake and at 3 to 4 months after the initial office visit.

RESULTS:

The study was conducted between January 2005 and April 2006. Out of 204 patients who gave consent to participate at baseline, we interviewed 71 patients about 4 months later. Among 33 problem drinkers, the mean number of standard drinks consumed per week declined from 32.9 at baseline to 9.6 at follow-up (P < .0005). Of the 29 problem opioid users, 6 were started on methadone treatment and 13 had decreased their opioid consumption from a mean morphine equivalent of 168.38 mg to 70.85 mg daily (P = .001). There was also a significant decline in the problematic use of benzodiazepines (P = .004) and other drugs (P = .005), but there was no significant decline in the problematic use of cannabis or cocaine. Twenty-two patients (31%) participated in Alcoholics Anonymous or formal addiction treatment.

CONCLUSION:

Shared care is a promising new strategy for delivering addiction intervention. Further evaluation is warranted, with more complete follow-up and objective outcome measures.

PMID:
19910601
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2776806
Free PMC Article
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