The Impact of Contingency Management on Quality of Life among Cocaine Abusers with and without Alcohol Dependence


Dr. Petry, Calhoun Cardiology Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-3944. E-mail:


The use of quality of life (QOL) measures in substance abuse treatment research is important because it may lead to a broader understanding of patients’ health status and effects of interventions. Despite the high rates of comorbid cocaine and alcohol use disorders, little is known about the QOL of this population, and even less about the impact of an efficacious behavioral treatment, contingency management (CM), on QOL. In this study, data from three clinical trials were retrospectively analyzed to examine QOL in outpatient cocaine abusers with and without alcohol dependence (AD) and the impact of CM on QOL over time as a function of AD status. Patients were randomized to standard care (n = 115) or standard care plus CM (n = 278) for 12 weeks. QOL was assessed at baseline and Months 1, 3, 6, and 9. At treatment initiation, AD patients had lower QOL total scores and they scored lower on several subscale scores than those without AD. CM treatment was associated with improvement in QOL regardless of AD status. These data suggest that CM produces benefits that go beyond substance abuse outcomes, and they support the use of QOL indexes to capture information related to treatment outcomes. (Am J Addict 2011;21:47–54)