According to a recent Kaiser Permanente San Francisco outpatient addiction treatment clinic patients who have access to interactive rehab tend to experience an improvement in overall health. The study involved 503 people who were assigned to receive standard care or standard care plus the LINKAGE intervention interactive rehab. Those who received the enhanced care did much better and learned many skills that they needed. According to Constance M. Weisner, DrPH, the lead study author, “Patients with alcohol and other drug use disorders have high rates of medical and psychiatric conditions requiring complex treatment, but often rely on emergency services and seldom use preventive services, even when they have health insurance. We know that patients who are more engaged with their health care tend to manage their condition better and our study found that alcohol and drug treatment patients are no different.”
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research researcher Stacy A. Sterling, DrPH, MSW, the senior study author, discussed the study findings on interactive rehab and an improvement in overall health. “Alcohol and drug treatment patients often suffer from other medical conditions, and their care needs to be integrated with mainstream health care. Teaching addiction treatment patients how to access and use health care may empower them to better engage in managing their health and well-being. It will be instructive to see whether this approach is helpful in avoiding relapse and in improving their overall health when we conduct additional follow-up.” For the study standard care included a variety of medical, substance abuse, and mental health services and information.