Quality of Life among Methadone Maintenance Patients after the 4th Wave of COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  •  Le Bao Chau    
  •  Dao Thi Thanh Nga    


INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to assess the quality of life (QOL) of methadone maintenance patients in Ho Chi Minh City after the most devastating wave of COVID-19 and to explore factors that influence their QOL.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 230 people who were in a methadone maintenance phase at the Tan Binh methadone treatment clinic using WHOQoL-BREF questionnaires. Ten in-depth interviews were carried out with patients and health staff, who were purposely selected.

RESULTS: The overall QOL score of study participants according to the 100-point WHOQoL-BREF scale was 64.6 ± 9.8, in which the highest average score was the physical health domain (68.3 ± 11.1 points) and the lowest was the social relationship domain (59.1 ± 13.5 points). MMT patients’ employment was found to be strongly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, with higher unemployment or unstable jobs that negatively influence their QOL. In contrast, the take-home dose policy applied during lockdown was reported as a positive factor and well accepted. Family support and marriage also positively affected their QOL scores, whereas those with positive urine test results reported lower QOL scores.

CONCLUSION: Employment and social support for MMT patients has emerged, and further studies should be carried out to provide adequate evidence for methadone treatment improvement, including a multi-day take-home dose initiative.

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