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Open Access Research

Improvement of quality of life following 6 months of methadone maintenance therapy in Malaysia

Nizam Baharom1*, Mohd Rohaizat Hassan1, Norsiah Ali2 and Shamsul Azhar Shah1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community Health, Malaysian National University Medical Centre, Jalan Yaacob Latif, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Tampin Health Clinic, District of Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

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Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2012, 7:32  doi:10.1186/1747-597X-7-32

Published: 1 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) is one of the popular choices for drug substitution therapy and is fairly new in Malaysia. Aside from its role in harm reduction against HIV infection, MMT programme may potentially enhances clients’ quality of life. This study aims to identify the impact of MMT programme on clients’ quality of life after 6 months in treatment and to explore factors that may be associated with changes in their quality of life.

Methods

In this retrospective report review, 122 subjects from 2 government MMT clinics were selected from the district of Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The raw score from the WHO Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF), at baseline and 6 months after therapy were collected and converted to 0–100 scale form to give quality of life scores for four domains; physical, psychological, social relationships and environment. Other variables of interest were socio-demography, age when joining MMT programme, age and duration of illicit drug use, HIV and Hepatitis C status, and the Opiate Treatment Index (OTI) score on drug use, sexual and social aspect at the baseline. Statistical analysis used the SPSS version 16.

Results

There was significant improvement in all four domains of quality of life, after 6 months of MMT. The largest improvement was for psychological domain (mean score difference 15.54 ± 20.81). Multivariable linear regression analysis showed that, for the physical domain, there was no significant predictor. For both the psychological and social domains, having tertiary education is a significant predictor for improvement in both aspects of quality of life. Negative HIV status is associated with improvement for the environment domain.

Conclusions

There was a significant short term improvement in the quality of life of MMT clients who stayed in the programme for at least 6 months in the district of Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Keywords:
Methadone; Quality of life; Malaysia