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Comparative study between prison- and community-based treatment satisfaction for opioid use disorder in Lebanon

Dany Khalaf (Department of Neurosciences, Saint-Charles University Hospital, Baabda, Lebanon) (Division of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Lebanese University (LU), Hadath, Lebanon)
Maryse Hayek (Department of Neurosciences, Saint-Charles University Hospital, Baabda, Lebanon) (Division of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Lebanese University (LU), Hadath, Lebanon)
Jules-Joel Bakhos (Department of Medical Students, Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Joseph University (USJ), Beirut, Lebanon) (Division of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Lebanese University (LU), Hadath, Lebanon)
Fadi Abou-Mrad (Department of Neurosciences, Saint-Charles University Hospital, Baabda, Lebanon) (Division of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Lebanese University (LU), Hadath, Lebanon)

International Journal of Prisoner Health

ISSN: 1744-9200

Article publication date: 28 February 2019

Issue publication date: 7 June 2019

197

Abstract

Purpose

Opioid substitution treatment (OST), such as Buprenorphine, has become a well-established evidence-based approach for the treatment of inmates with opioid use disorder (OUD) in most of the developed world. However, its application in Lebanon remains mainly as a community-based intervention. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the need of its implementation within the Lebanese correctional system.

Design/methodology/approach

The work is a pilot cross-sectional study that compares two groups: 30 male adult prisoners with OUD convictions receiving symptomatic treatment and 30 male adult community patients with OUD receiving Buprenorphine. The objective was to measure the difference in the patients’ general perception and satisfaction of the treatments available. OUD was diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition criteria and the level of satisfaction was measured by “Treatment Perceptions Questionnaire (TPQ).”

Findings

The prison group reported significantly lower satisfaction when compared to the community group (total TPQ mean scores: M=34.73, SD =4.12 and M=16.67, SD =4.78, respectively, with t (56.76) =15.68, p=0.000). Furthermore, age, marital status, education level and elapsed time in treatment had no significant interactions with the total TPQ score.

Originality/value

The major principles of the ethics of care and evidence-based safe practices will be proposed for the introduction of Buprenorphine to Lebanese prisons. This work provides an opportunity for the expansion of the Lebanese OST program and consequently other countries in the region could benefit from this experience.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflict of interest and funding: there is no conflict of interest to be mentioned and this research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. The authors would like to thank all the staff and patients at Roumieh prison and AJEM NGO for their participation and help in this research without whom it would not have been made possible. Their contribution, time and effort were highly valuable. The authors are sincerely grateful to the former General Director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, Major General Ibrahim BASBOUS; the current General Director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, Major General Imad OTHMAN; the Head of the polyclinic at Roumieh prison, Colonel Habib El TAKACH; the Head of Public Relations Department of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, Colonel Joseph MOUSSALLEM; and the Head of AJEM NGO, Father Najib Baaklini whose understanding, encouragement, generous guidance and cooperation through the course of this study made this work possible and successful. Finally, this work has been inspired and done in memory of late Father Hady El AYA, founder and former Head of AJEM NGO.

Citation

Khalaf, D., Hayek, M., Bakhos, J.-J. and Abou-Mrad, F. (2019), "Comparative study between prison- and community-based treatment satisfaction for opioid use disorder in Lebanon", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 138-152. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-12-2017-0064

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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