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Clinical outcomes, methadone maintenance program, sociodemographic characteristics, trauma-informed care, Western Canada



  1. Maina, Geoffrey RN, PhD


Introduction: Clients on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) have high attrition rates that are attributed to personal and system-related factors. To develop supportive interventions for these clients, it is imperative to understand social demographic characteristics and challenges that clients in the MMT program face.


Objectives: This article aims to describe (a) the sociodemographic characteristics and clinical profiles of clients in a MMT program, (b) factors that impact their positive clinical outcomes, and (c) the study's implications for practice.


Methods: A retrospective review of 101 randomly selected electronic medical records representing one third of all the records were examined for sociodemographic characteristics, clinical profiles, and outcomes. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze these variables. Interviews with 18 healthcare providers focusing on their experiences of caring for clients in the MMT program were analyzed thematically.


Results: The average age of clients on MMT is 35.5 years. Clients had early exposure to alcohol and drugs, and at the time of enrollment to the program, they presented with complex healthcare needs, borne from chronic use, and exposure to adverse traumatic events. Personal and systemic factors impact clients' recovery. These include poverty, homelessness, and inadequate healthcare services. Understanding sociodemographic characteristics, clinical profiles, and clients' challenges is central to the development of supportive interventions that enhance retention to care and recovery.