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Factors associated with one year retention to methadone maintenance treatment program among patients with heroin dependence in China.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk factors associated with dropout from Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) clinics within a 1 year follow-up cohort study in China.


A data analysis is to explore the adherence of MMT during one year from three hundred and twenty patients with heroin dependence at five clinics (3 in Shanghai, 2 in Kunming) in China. All participants were from the part of China-United States cooperation project entitled "Research about improving the compliance and efficacy of methadone maintenance treatment in China". Our data analysis includes the patients' attendance in the 6 months clinical study and the data in another 6 months afterward. The data of patients at baseline were collected with the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) which is a semi-structured questionnaire covering socio-demographic characteristics and drug use history. The one year attendance after recruitment at the clinics and daily dose were abstracted from the MMT clinic register system. The Cox proportional hazards model were used to explore the risk factor of dropout, defined as seven consecutive days without methadone.


By the end of 1 year of treatment 86 patients still remained in MMT without dropout (87% in Shanghai and 13% patients in Kunming). Over the entire 1-year period the median days of remaining in the program were 84 days (in Shanghai and Kunming were 317 days and 22 days).The factors associated with retention included age (HR=0.98, 95%C.I.:0.96-0.99, P=0.0062) and ASI alcohol scores (HR=5.72, 95%C.I.:1.49-21.92, P=0.0109) at baseline.


One year retention of newly recruited patients with heroin dependence was related to age and ASI alcohol scores at baseline. The adherence is poorer for the patients who are young and having more serious alcohol problems.

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