Article: article from journal or magazin.
Appropriateness of methadone maintenance treatment for opiate addiction: evaluation by an expert panel.
Sozial- und Präventivmedizin
48 Suppl 1
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't - Publication Status: ppublish
With some 30,000 dependent persons, opiate addiction constitutes a major public health problem in Switzerland. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has long played a leading role in the prevention and treatment of opiate addiction and in research on effective means of containing the epidemic of opiate addiction and its consequences. Major milestones on that path have been the successive "Methadone reports" published by that Office and providing guidance on the care of opiate addiction with substitution treatment. In view of updating the recommendations for the appropriateness of substitution treatment for opiate addiction, in particular for the prescription of methadone, the FOPH commissioned a multi-component project involving the following elements. A survey of current attitudes and practices in Switzerland related to opiate substitution treatment Review of Swiss literature on methadone substitution treatment Review of international literature on methadone substitution treatment National Methadone Substitution Conference Multidisciplinary expert panel to evaluate the appropriateness of substitution treatment. The present report documents the process and summarises the results of the latter element above. The RAND appropriateness method (RAM) was used to distil from literature-based evidence and systematically formulated expert opinion, areas where consensus exist on the appropriateness (or inappropriateness) of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) and areas where disagreement or uncertainty persist and which should be further pursued. The major areas which were addressed by this report are Initial assessment of candidates for MMT Appropriate settings for initiation of MMT (general and special cases) Appropriateness of methadone supportive therapy Co-treatments and accompanying measures Dosage schedules and pharmacokinetic testing Withdrawal from MMT Miscellaneous questions Appropriateness of other (non-methadone) substitution treatment Summary statements for each of the above categories are derived from the panel meeting and presented in the report. In the "first round", agreement was observed for 31% of the 553 theoretical scenarios evaluated. The "second round" rating, following discussion of divergent ratings, resulted in a much higher agreement among panellists, reaching 53% of the 537 scenarios. Frank disagreement was encountered for 7% of all scenarios. Overall 49% of the clinical situations (scenarios) presented were considered appropriate. The areas where at least 50% of the situations were considered appropriate were "initial assessment of candidates for MMT", the "appropriate settings for initiation of MMT", the "appropriate settings for methadone supportive treatment" and "Appropriateness of other (non-methadone) substitution treatment". The area where there was the least consensus on appropriateness concerned "appropriateness of withdrawal from MMT" (6%). The report discusses the implications and limitations of the panel results and provides recommendations for the dissemination, application, and future use of the criteria for the appropriateness of MMT. The RAND Appropriateness Method proved to be an accepted and appreciated method to assess the appropriateness of methadone maintenance treatment for opiate addicts. In the next step, the results of the expert panel process must now be combined with those of the Swiss and international literature reviews and the survey of current attitudes and practices in Switzerland, to be synthesized into formal practice guidelines. Such guidelines should be disseminated to all concerned, promoted, used and rigorously evaluated for compliance and outcome.
Combined Modality Therapy, Evidence-Based Medicine, Heroin Dependence, Humans, Methadone, Narcotics, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Patient Care Team, Program Evaluation, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Switzerland
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