Opiate Dependents’ Experiences of the Therapeutic Relationship in Methadone Centers; A Qualitative Study

Nabi Banazadeh, Ali Kheradmand, Heidarali Abedi



Background: Methadone maintenance therapy is a treatment of choice for opiate addiction. Understanding opiate dependents’ experiences of patients' treatment is a key to continue the treatment and can provide help to revise the standards of methadone centers and improve the quality of treatment. This study aimed to describe the essence and structure of opiate dependents’ experiences with methadone maintenance therapy.

Methods: It was a qualitative phenomenological study, in which participants were selected from opiate dependents referred to methadone centers in Kerman city in 2007. Sampling was purposive and continued until data saturation, which was achieved at 32 participants. Data were collected by in-depth interviews. Colaizzi's method was applied for data analysis. The rigor of the present study was assessed based on the criteria of confirmability and credibility.

Findings: A total of 26 themes were extracted and categorized into three main themes including positive therapeutic alliance, negative therapeutic alliance and therapeutic alliance requests.

Conclusion: Client–centered therapy in methadone clinics creates a positive therapeutic alliance, and persuades patients to continue their treatment. Establishing a good relationship with patients during their treatment procedure is an effective way to meet the goals. Individual and group counseling sessions and advices on family and career related issues during the treatment should be considered as well.

Keywords: Methadone, Experiences, Professional Patient Relationships, Qualitative research, Opiate dependence


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22122/ahj.v1i1.11


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