Health, Wellness, and Quality of Life Satisfaction among Persons Receiving Medication-Assisted Treatment
Patrick, Rhonda G
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Purpose This study explores the health, wellness, and quality of life (QoL) of opiate-dependent individuals who are receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. The study assesses longitudinal improvement of QoL and the influence of demographic, psychosocial, drug, and health-related variables on individuals' QoL. Methods This is a quantitative longitudinal study of adult patients enrolled in two outpatient opioid treatment programs (OTP) located in Texas. The patients were receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. The study includes analysis of patient psychosocial and demographic information collected at the time of the patient’s initial enrollment in the program and analysis of QoL assessments collected from patients annually in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Results Although there were some small long-term changes in the six dimensions of the patients’ QoL, these changes appeared to have limited practical or clinical significance. Several psychosocial stressors, including anxiety, alcohol use, non-prescribed opioid use, being physically abused as a child, and childhood exposure to substance use had statistically significant effects on patient QoL, however, these effects appeared to have limited practical or clinical significance. Conclusions Ultimately, this study has revealed that individuals receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder need psychosocial supports throughout the entirety of their treatment, regardless of the length of the episode. A satisfactory QoL is mediated by psychological well-being. Consequently, a more holistic approach to MAT is recommended, which goes beyond pharmaceutical maintenance and medical care to include special attention for psychological complaints and trauma.