Evidence for the value of CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT
main research findings
Prendergast, M., Podus, D., Finney, J., Greenwell, L. and Roll, J. (2006), Contingency management
for treatment of substance use disorders: a meta-analysis. Addiction, 101: 1546–1560. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01581.x
Aims To examine the effectiveness of contingency
management (CM) techniques in treating substance use disorders (i.e. illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco).
Design Meta-analysis was used
to determine the average effect size and potential moderators in 47 comparisons of the effectiveness of CM from studies based
on a treatment–control group design and published between 1970 and 2002.
Findings The mean effect size (ES) of CM was positive,
with a magnitude of d = 0.42 using a fixed effects model. The magnitude of the ES declined over time,
following treatment. CM was more effective in treating opiate use (d = 0.65) and cocaine use (d = 0.66),
compared with tobacco (d = 0.31) or multiple drugs (d = 0.42). Larger effect sizes were
associated with higher researcher involvement, earlier studies and shorter treatment duration.
Conclusions Study findings suggest
that CM is among the more effective approaches to promoting abstinence during the treatment of substance use disorders. CM
improves the ability of clients to remain abstinent, thereby allowing them to take fuller advantage of other clinical treatment