Telephone delivered incentives for encouraging adherence to supervised methadone consumption (TIES): study protocol for a feasibility study for an RCT of clinical and cost effectiveness

Metrebian, Nicola, Weaver, Tim ORCID logoORCID:, Pilling, Stephen ORCID logoORCID:, Goldsmith, Kimberley, Carr, Ewan, Shearer, James, Woolston-Thomas, Kathryn, Tas, Basak, Getty, Carol-Ann, Cooper, Charlotte, van der Waal, Rob, Kelleher, Michael, Finch, Emily, Bijral, Prun, Taylor, David, Scott, Jenny and Strang, John (2020) Telephone delivered incentives for encouraging adherence to supervised methadone consumption (TIES): study protocol for a feasibility study for an RCT of clinical and cost effectiveness. Contemporary clinical trials communications, 17 , 100506. pp. 1-8. [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.conctc.2019.100506)

PDF - Published version (with publisher's formatting)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0.

Download (863kB) | Preview


The majority of people receiving treatment for their heroin addiction, are prescribed methadone; for which there is an extensive evidence base. When treatment starts, people take their daily dose of methadone under supervision at a community pharmacy. Supervision guarantees methadone is taken as directed by the individual for whom it has been prescribed, helps to ensure individuals take their correct dose every day, and safeguards against diversion and overdose. However, individuals often fail to attend the pharmacy to take their methadone. Each missed dose is of concern. If a patient misses their daily dose of methadone, they will start to experience opiate withdrawal and cravings and are more likely to use heroin. If they miss three days dose, there are concerns that they may lose tolerance to the drug and may be at risk of overdose when the next dose is taken. Hence there is an urgent need to develop effective interventions for medication adherence. Research suggests that incentive-based medication adherence interventions may be very effective, but there are few controlled trials and the provision of incentives requires time and organisational systems which can be challenging in pharmacies. The investigators have developed the technology to deliver incentives by mobile telephone. This cluster randomised trial will test the feasibility of conducting a future trial evaluating the clinical and cost effectiveness of using telephone delivered incentives (praise and modest financial rewards via text messaging) to encourage adherence with supervised consumption of methadone in community pharmacies. Three drug services (each with two or three community pharmacies supervising methadone consumption that will enrol 20 individuals, a total of 60 participants) will be recruited and randomly allocated to deliver either i) telephone delivered incentives, ii) telephone delivered reminders or iii) no telephone system. Acceptability, recruitment, follow-up, and suitable measures of clinical and cost effectiveness will be assessed. Findings from this feasibility study will be assessed against stated progression criteria and used to inform a future confirmatory trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of telephone delivered incentives to encourage medication adherence. ISRCTN58958179 (retrospectively registered). [Abstract copyright: © 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.]

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Behavioural reinforcement, contingency management, financial incentives, heroin use, medication adherence, methadone, opiate substitution treatment, pharmacies, supervised consumption
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 28778
Notes on copyright: © 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2020 09:59
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.