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A Pilot Study of Low-Cost Contingency Management to Increase Attendance in an Adolescent Substance Abuse Program

Authors

  • Christopher E. Branson PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York
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  • Anna Maria Barbuti,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
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  • Philip Clemmey PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York
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  • Lisa Herman PsyD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York
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  • Phintso Bhutia MD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
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Dr. Branson, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 411 W 114th St.-Suite 2A, New York, NY 10025. E-mail: cbranson@chpnet.org.

Abstract

Numerous studies demonstrate the efficacy of contingency management (CM) for improving patient outcomes, yet it is rarely used in treatment settings due to the high cost of implementation. This quasi-experimental study (N = 52) examined the effect of a low-cost “Fishbowl” CM intervention on attendance/retention in an early intervention adolescent substance abuse program. The CM group attended significantly more sessions compared to the control group. Furthermore, the CM intervention costs $3.27 per patient per session. Our findings support the use of low-cost CM to improve adolescent attendance in clinical settings. (Am J Addict 2012;21:126–129)

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