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Patient and program factors that bridge the detoxification-treatment gap: a structured evidence review.
Timko C, Below M, Schultz NR, Brief D, Cucciare MA. Patient and program factors that bridge the detoxification-treatment gap: a structured evidence review. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2015 May 1; 52:31-9.
Although completion of detoxification (detox) and a successful transition from detox to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and/or mutual-help groups are associated with better SUD outcomes, many patients do not complete detox or do not receive SUD care following detox. The purpose of this structured evidence review, summarizing data extraction on a yield of 26 articles, is to identify patient, program, and system factors associated with the outcomes of completion of alcohol detox and successful transitions from alcohol detox to SUD treatment and mutual-help group participation. The review found wide variability among studies in the rates at which patients complete a detox episode (45 to 95%) and enter SUD treatment or mutual-help groups after detox (14 to 92%). Within program factors, behavioral practices that contribute to both detox completion and transitioning to SUD care after detox entail involving the patient's family and utilizing motivational-based approaches. Such practices should be targeted at younger patients, who are less likely to complete detox. Although more studies using a randomized controlled trial design are needed, the evidence suggests that barriers to detox completion and transition to SUD care can be overcome to improve patient outcomes.