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J Public Health (Oxf). 2014 Jul 2. pii: fdu040. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of a recovery management intervention on Chinese heroin users' community recovery through the mediation effect of enhanced service utilization.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20781, USA.
  • 2Shanghai Zi Qiang Social Services, Shanghai 200070, China.
  • 3Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.



This study investigates whether a recovery management intervention (RMI) can improve the utilization of community drug treatment and wraparound services among heroin users in China and subsequently lead to positive recovery outcomes.


Secondary analysis was conducted drawing data from a randomized controlled trial; 100 heroin users with no severe mental health problems were recruited in two Shanghai districts (Hongkou and Yangpu) upon their release from compulsory rehabilitation facilities. A latent variable modeling approach was utilized to test whether the RMI influences heroin users' perceived motivation and readiness for treatment, enhances treatment and wraparound service participation, and, in turn, predicts better recovery outcomes.


Enrollment in drug treatment and other social service utilization increased significantly as a result of RMI rather than an individual drug user's motivation and readiness for treatment. Increased service utilization thus led to more positive individual recovery outcomes. In addition to this mediation effect through service utilization, the RMI also improved participants' community recovery directly.


Findings suggest that better drug treatment enrollment, community service utilization and recovery outcomes can be potentially achieved among heroin users in China with carefully designed case management interventions.

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


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