Implementation of cognitive-behavioral substance abuse treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Treatment engagement and abstinence at treatment exit

Hetta Gouse, Jessica F. Magidson, Warren Burnhams, Jocelyn E. Remmert, Bronwyn Myers, John A. Joska, Adam W. Carrico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Aims: This study documented the treatment cascade for engagement in care and abstinence at treatment exit as well as examined correlates of these outcomes for the first certified Matrix Model1 substance abuse treatment site in Sub-Saharan Africa. Design: This retrospective chart review conducted at a resource-limited community clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, assessed treatment readiness and substance use severity at treatment entry as correlates of the number of sessions attended and biologically confirmed abstinence at treatment exit among 986 clients who initiated treatment from 2009-2014. Sociodemographic and clinical correlates of treatment outcomes were examined using logistic regression, modeling treatment completion and abstinence at treatment exit separately. Results: Of the 2,233 clients who completed screening, approximately 44% (n = 986) initiated treatment. Among those who initiated treatment, 45% completed at least four group sessions, 30% completed early recovery skills training (i.e., at least eight group sessions), and 13% completed the full 16-week program. Approximately half (54%) of clients who provided a urine sample had negative urine toxicology results for any substance at treatment exit. Higher motivation at treatment entry was independently associated with greater odds of treatment completion and negative urine toxicology results at treatment exit. Conclusions: Findings provide initial support for the successful implementation the Matrix Model in a resource-limited setting. Motivational enhancement interventions could support treatment initiation, promote sustained engagement in treatment, and achieve better treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0147900
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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