Sinclair, J.M.A., Burton, A., Ashcroft, R. and Priebe, S.
Clinician and service user perceptions of implementing contingency management: a focus group study
Drug and Alcohol Dependence (doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.05.016). (PMID:21680110).
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Contingency management (CM), despite the evidence base for its effectiveness, remains controversial, with sub-optimal implementation. In 2007, UK guidelines recommended the use of CM in publicly funded services, but uptake has also been minimal. Previous surveys of service providers suggest differences in opinions about CM, but to date there has been no published involvement of service users in this debate.
Focus group methodology was used to explore systematically the attitudes, concerns and opinions of staff and service users about the use of CM, in publicly funded substance misuse services, to identify the key areas that may be influential in terms of implementation and outcome. Data were analysed thematically using the constant comparative method.
70 staff and service users participated in 9 focus groups. 15 themes of discussion around CM were identified, grouped into four categories: how CM was aligned to the philosophy of substance misuse services; the practicalities of implementation; wider ethical concerns; and how participants perceived the evidence for effectiveness.
Robust process evaluation in different treatment systems is needed to define the active components of CM for implementation. Involvement of service users in this process is essential and is likely to provide valuable insights into the mechanism of action of CM and its effectiveness and uptake within complex treatment systems.
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