Predictors of Treatment Retention in a Major Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program in Iran: a Survival Analysis

Tahereh Pashaei, Maryam Moeeni, Babak Roshanaei Moghdam, Hassan Heydari, Nigel E Turner, Emran M Razaghi


Background: To identify correlates related to retention time of a cohort study of the opioid-dependent patients participating in the Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) program offered by a major addiction treatment clinic in Tehran, Iran between April 2007 and March 2011.

Methods: Several parametric Survival models assuming Weibull, Log-normal and Log-logistic distributions were compared to search for association between covariates and risk of relapse and dropping out of treatment among 198 patient participants.

Results: According to Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), Log-normal model had the best fitting. Estimates of this model indicated that increase in average methadone dosage was associated with longer retention time. Correlates associated with shorter retention time were suffering from mental disorders, using stimulant drugs, being poly-substance dependents and having prior treatments.

Conclusions: Findings of this study provide support for giving more attention to patients who are poly-substance or stimulant-drug dependents, have non-substance psychiatric comorbidity and the ones with addiction treatment history. Independent of patient characteristics, retention improved as the dose of methadone increased.


Retention; Relapse; Methadone Maintenance Treatment; Opioid addiction; Survival models; Log-normal distribution

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