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Stanford, CA, United States

Del Re A.C.,Center for Health Care Evaluation
Addiction science & clinical practice | Year: 2013

As a quality improvement metric, the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) monitors the proportion of patients with alcohol use disorders (AUD) who receive FDA approved medications for alcohol dependence (naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram). Evidence supporting the off-label use of the antiepileptic medication topiramate to treat alcohol dependence may be as strong as these approved medications. However, little is known about the extent to which topiramate is used in clinical practice. The goal of this study was to describe and examine the overall use, facility-level variation in use, and patient -level predictors of topiramate prescription for patients with AUD in the VHA. Using national VHA administrative data in a retrospective cohort study, we examined time trends in topiramate use from fiscal years (FY) 2009-2012, and predictors of topiramate prescription in 375,777 patients identified with AUD (ICD-9-CM codes 303.9x or 305.0x) treated in 141 VHA facilities in FY 2011. Among VHA patients with AUD, rates of topiramate prescription have increased from 0.99% in FY 2009 to 1.95% in FY 2012, although substantial variation across facilities exists. Predictors of topiramate prescription were female sex, young age, alcohol dependence diagnoses, engagement in both mental health and addiction specialty care, and psychiatric comorbidity. Veterans Health Administration facilities are monitored regarding the extent to which patients with AUD are receiving FDA-approved pharmacotherapy. Not including topiramate in the metric, which is prescribed more often than acamprosate and disulfiram combined, may underestimate the extent to which VHA patients at specific facilities and overall are receiving pharmacotherapy for AUD.

Cabriales J.A.,University of Texas at El Paso | Cooper T.V.,University of Texas at El Paso | Taylor T.,Center for Health Care Evaluation
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology | Year: 2013

Illicit substance use has increased in Hispanics. Recent trends also warrant focus on prescription drug misuse, given its increased prevalence among college students. The aims of this study were to assess prescription drug misuse and illicit drug use in Hispanic students, as well as potential theoretically and empirically based risk and protective factors. Hispanic students (n = 435; 59% female) from a U.S. university located on the border with México completed a sociodemographic survey, licit, illicit, and prescription drug use frequency questionnaires, an attitudes and beliefs about prescription drugs survey, the Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales, the Collectivist Coping Styles Measure, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. A hierarchical logistic regression assessed prescription drug misuse predictors including demographics, licit/illicit substance use, attitudes toward prescription drug use, acculturation, distress symptoms, coping style, perceived social support, and the interaction between distress symptoms and acculturation. A negative binomial regression assessed predictors of past 30-day illegal drug use (the same predictors as the previous model except illicit drug use). Results indicated that positive attitudes toward prescription drugs, higher anxiety, and lower depressive symptomatology increased the odds of prescription drug misuse. Past 30-day alcohol use, positive attitudes toward prescription drugs, and higher acculturation predicted past 30-day illicit drug use. Prescription drug misuse was differentially associated with distress symptoms, whereas the convergence model of acculturation was supported regarding illegal drug use. Inconsistent with hypotheses, protective factors were not significantly associated with substance use. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

Maisel N.C.,Center for Health Care Evaluation | Karney B.R.,University of California at Los Angeles
Journal of Family Psychology | Year: 2012

Although stressful events and poor mental health predict worse intimate relationships in all segments of society, they may be especially detrimental for poorer couples who lack the financial resources that facilitate successful coping. To examine this hypothesis, associations among stress, mental health, and relationship satisfaction were examined in the Florida Family Formation study, a stratified random sample of more than 2000 Florida residents that included oversamples of low-income participants. As predicted, stressful life events and mental health problems accounted for more variance in relationship satisfaction among poorer than among more affluent individuals. These results suggest that models of relationship satisfaction addressing low-income populations may need to emphasize contextual and individual variables more than models developed in more affluent populations. © 2012 American Psychological Association.

Harris A.H.,Center for Health Care Evaluation
Addiction science & clinical practice | Year: 2012

Severe alcohol misuse as measured by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) is associated with increased risk of future fractures and trauma-related hospitalizations. This study examined the association between AUDIT-C scores and two-year risk of any type of trauma among US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients and assessed whether risk varied by age or gender. Outpatients (215, 924 male and 9168 female) who returned mailed AUDIT-C questionnaires were followed for 24 months in the medical record for any International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-9) code related to trauma. The two-year prevalence of trauma was examined as a function of AUDIT-C scores, with low-level drinking (AUDIT-C 1-4) as the reference group. Men and women were examined separately, and age-stratified analyses were performed. Having an AUDIT-C score of 9-12 (indicating severe alcohol misuse) was associated with increased risk for trauma. Mean (SD) ages for men and women were 68.2 (11.5) and 57.2 (15.8), respectively. Age-stratified analyses showed that, for men≤50 years, those with AUDIT-C scores≥9 had an increased risk for trauma compared with those with AUDIT-C scores in the 1-4 range (adjusted prevalence, 25.7% versus 20.8%, respectively; OR=1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.50). For men≥65 years with average comorbidity and education, those with AUDIT-C scores of 5-8 (adjusted prevalence, 7.9% versus 7.4%; OR=1.16; 95% CI, 1.02-1.31) and 9-12 (adjusted prevalence 11.1% versus 7.4%; OR=1.68; 95% CI, 1.30-2.17) were at significantly increased risk for trauma compared with men≥65 years in the reference group. Higher AUDIT-C scores were not associated with increased risk of trauma among women. Men with severe alcohol misuse (AUDIT-C 9-12) demonstrate an increased risk of trauma. Men≥65 showed an increased risk for trauma at all levels of alcohol misuse (AUDIT-C 5-8 and 9-12). These findings may be used as part of an evidence-based brief intervention for alcohol use disorders. More research is needed to understand the relationship between AUDIT-C scores and risk of trauma in women.

Heinz A.J.,Center for Health Care Evaluation
Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology | Year: 2013

Delay discounting (DD), an index of impulsivity, reflects individuals' preference for smaller immediate rewards to larger delayed rewards. The current study examined (a) relations between DD and quantity, frequency, and severity of Cannabis use, as well as several other measures of co-occurring substance use and clinical severity, and (b) whether DD predicted Cannabis-cessation outcomes. Cannabis-dependent United States (U.S.) veterans (N = 72; 95% male) who were interested in making serious self-quit attempts were evaluated prior to their cessation attempts, during which they completed a computerized DD task, and were followed throughout six months postattempt. Results indicated that higher DD was significantly correlated with higher compulsive craving for Cannabis (ρ = .29, p < .05), younger age of first Cannabis use (r = -.32, p < .01), earlier commencement of regular Cannabis smoking (r = -.25, p < .05), and seeking professional help for a previous Cannabis quit attempt (ρ = .27, p < .05). DD did not significantly predict any Cannabis-cessation outcomes in the first week postattempt or during the 6-month follow-up. These results add to the literature on DD, which has focused on users of tobacco, alcohol, opioids, and cocaine, by demonstrating that DD is sensitive to developmental trajectories of Cannabis dependence, but does not reliably predict cessation outcomes. Results also suggest that DD may carry less relevance for Cannabis than for other substances of abuse. (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

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