Profiles of quality of life in opiate-dependent individuals after starting methadone treatment: A latent class analysis

J. de Maeyer, Ch. van Nieuwenhuizen, I.L. Bongers, E. Broekaert, W. Vanderplasschen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to identify classes of quality of life (QoL) among opiate-dependent individuals five to ten years after starting methadone treatment in order to tailor services to the needs of this population.
A cross-sectional study of 159 opiate-dependent individuals who started outpatient methadone treatment in the region of Ghent, Belgium, between 1997 and 2002. A face-to-face structured interview was administered based on the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile, the EuropASI, Brief Symptom Inventory and the Verona Service Satisfaction Scale for Methadone Treatment. Latent class analysis was used to determine patterns of QoL. Analyses of variance and chi-square tests were used to test whether class membership was related to socio-demographic, health- and drug-related variables.
Based on fit criteria, a three-class model was selected. Class Low (14.5%), ‘opiate-dependent individuals living in marginal conditions’, is characterised by low QoL scores on all domains. Class Intermediate (25.8%), ‘stabilized, but socially excluded opiate-dependent individuals’ shows high scores on the domains ‘safety’ and ‘living situation’, but low scores on all other QoL domains. Class High (59.7%), ‘socially included opiate-dependent individuals’, is characterised by high QoL scores on all domains, except ‘finances’.
The findings of this study illustrate the existence of different profiles of QoL among opiate-dependent individuals after starting methadone maintenance treatment and demonstrate the need for a continuing care approach. Insight into distinct classes of QoL can be used to design person-centred support, relevant to an individual's personal life.
Keywords: Methadone treatment, Opioid substitution treatment, Quality of life,
Person-centred outcomes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-350
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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