Critiq a research methadology - Essay Example

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I. Introduction In view of the fact that there is an acknowledged lack of conventional method in the treatment of drug dependence particularly cocaine addiction, auricular acupuncture has been employed by various drug treatment facilities in the United States for the rehabilitation of both primary cocaine-dependence and opiate-dependence…
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Download file to see previous pages Some studies showed the positive effects of acupuncture towards these disorders, a considerable number of reports also showed that there is no difference between those subjected to auricular acupuncture and those in controlled studies. Since acupuncture is a procedure, putting it into a clinical test would entail that meticulous guidelines be followed. These procedural guidelines stem from the methodical understanding of the nature of acupuncture and of the character of drugs used. Hence this study, aside from dealing with the specific controlling factors of acupuncture also takes into consideration factors that are non-specific such as the use of questionnaires, monitoring of drug use and other aspects that would result to confuse the findings. This study was conducted using a randomized clinical trial aiming to determine if auricular acupuncture has significant and positive results towards the treatment of drug dependence in methadone-maintained addicts. This specific patient population was opted for the use of addition to cocaine is a grave problem in methadone maintenance programs or MMPs. II. The Methods and Methodology Used in the Study A Randomized Controlled Trial of Auricular Acupuncture for Cocaine Dependence (Avants, et. al., 2000) Participant Selection: Entrance and Discontinuation Criteria The inclusion criteria for the research participants are the following: 1. They should be at least 18 years of age 2. They should be enrolled in methadone maintenance programs (MMPs) with a stable dose of methadone. 3. They should be able to meet the criteria for cocaine used as established by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV25 4. They should be able to show recent cocaine use: a. able to provide a cocaine-positive urine sample (at the time of screening) b. able to provide a detailed report of cocaine use (week before the screening) c. able to provide a cocaine positive urine sample (within two weeks before screening) The exclusion criteria for the research participants are the following: 1. They should not be dependent to other substance other than cocaine, nicotine or opiates 2. They should not undergo any current treatment for cocaine dependence They should not have any current use of psychotropic medication (except when they are maintained in a regimen for this specific medication for 90 days) 3. They should not have previous acupuncture treatment for a period of 30 days They should not manifest suicidal nor psychotic status The discontinuation* criteria for the research participants are the following 1. Failure to attend 3 of first 8 sessions 2. Failure to attend less than session per week * Those who discontinued the research were termed as noncompleters Figure 1. The flow and progress of patients and their corresponding treatments throughout the trial (Avants, et. al., 2000). Randomization A computer-based randomization procedure was conducted by a staff member after the completion of the patient’s screening as well as intake interviews. The randomization procedure was used in order to set of scales for the participants on conditions such as a) sex; b) race; and c) HIV status. During the orientation, patients were kept abreast of their treatment assignments through a prescribed standardized script. Patients ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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