Health Promotion Control Groups in Physical Activity Interventions for Opioid Dependence Treatment: Brief Narrative Review

Ashley Abraham

Authors:  Ashley M. Abraham, Marissa L. Donahue, MA, Danielle E. Jake-Schoffman, PhD

Faculty Mentor:  Danielle E. Jake-Schoffman, PhD

College:  College of Health and Human Performance

Abstract

In 2017, 67.8% of drug overdose deaths in the US involved opioids. Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) can be effective for adults with opioid dependence, though it has shortcomings. New research investigates the role of adjunctive treatments, such as physical activity (PA) to aid in the success of MMT. As our lab is designing a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test a PA intervention for adults in MMT, we need to learn about successful control groups for this setting. This study aimed to describe health promotion control groups used in PA interventions for opioid dependent adults. A structured search was conducted in PubMed for peer-reviewed manuscripts published between 2015 and 2019. Search terms were “physical activity”, “exercise”, “walking”, “opioid”, “opioid abuse”, “opioid maintenance treatment”, “methadone abuse”, and “methadone maintenance treatment”. We identified 79 manuscripts; all were excluded after full text review. Manuscripts were excluded if they included a non-opioid dependent sample (n = 43) or did not include a PA intervention (n =36). Few RCTs have investigated PA as an adjunctive treatment to MMT, and control groups are understudied. Our future research will explore control groups used for PA interventions for the treatment of other substance dependencies.

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Heather Gibson
Heather Gibson (@guest_454)
1 year ago

Thanks for your presentation Ashley. Why do you think that previous studies have not included physical activity as a possible intervention/treamentt option?

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_1372)
Reply to  Heather Gibson
1 year ago

Hi Heather, thank you so much for your question! I think that previous studies haven’t looked into physical activity as an adjunct to normal treatment as this field is relatively new and the focus of interventions has been primarily medication-based as demonstrated by our exploratory findings.

Heather Gibson
Heather Gibson (@guest_2340)
Reply to  Ashley Abraham
1 year ago

Thanks Ashley. I think overall there’s a discounting of the powerful of physical activity on more than just physical health. I look forward to seeing more on this project!

Christian McLaren
Christian McLaren (@guest_700)
1 year ago

Hey Ashley, this presentation really hits home, since I know many individuals (family and friends) who have and are still struggling with opioid addiction. There is more research needed regarding weaning depend individuals off of these medications. Great job!!

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_1048)
Reply to  Christian McLaren
1 year ago

Thank you so much Christian! Please let us if you have any future questions about our upcoming research in this field.

Savell Robinson
Savell Robinson (@guest_762)
1 year ago

Very well done and interesting presentation Ashley. Are there any methods of PA you focused on specifically, such as running, and was there any research that showed the level of intensity within the PA had an effect on the outcome of MMT?

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_1702)
Reply to  Savell Robinson
1 year ago

Hi Savell, thank you for your question! In our other projects we have focused on moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity due to supporting research in animal models and with other substance abuse populations. However, this was not something we explored further in this particular review project.

Alexandra Rubin
Alexandra Rubin (@guest_1264)
1 year ago

Hi Ashley!

I thought your research was really interesting and obviously very cutting edge since there is not any literature to be found on the topic. Hopefully someday you can publish on this topic since there is obviously such a large knowledge gap! Good job!

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_1444)
Reply to  Alexandra Rubin
1 year ago

Thank you so much Alexandra!

Lauren Lester
Lauren Lester (@guest_1472)
1 year ago

Hi Ashley, well done!! Your poster is very thorough and easy to follow. Which types of PA would be best for MMT?

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_1828)
Reply to  Lauren Lester
1 year ago

Thank you so much Lauren! In our other projects we have focused on moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity due to supporting research in animal models and with other substance abuse populations. However, this was not something we explored further in this particular review project.

Danielle Jake-Schoffman
Danielle Jake-Schoffman (@guest_3554)
1 year ago

Awesome work, Ashley!

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_5064)
Reply to  Danielle Jake-Schoffman
1 year ago

Thank you for your guidance and support throughout this process Dr. Jake-Schoffman! I can’t wait for the future of the EXHALE Lab!

Rebecca Correa
Rebecca Correa (@guest_4134)
1 year ago

Ashley, great work on your presentation! How are you planning on narrowing down your future research to one health promotion control group, based on your findings of the different substances? I look forward to reading more about it.

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_4722)
Reply to  Rebecca Correa
1 year ago

Hi Rebecca, thank you so much! Currently, the EXHALE lab and I are researching the implementation of health promotion control groups in other substance abuse populations. We plan to analyze how the content presented to the control groups matched the intervention given. We plan to work together to determine what worked well for other studies and use this information to create our own health promotion control group. Great question!

Emily In
Emily In (@guest_4790)
1 year ago

Hi Ashley! Great job on the presentation! Very interesting and relevant topic! I’m excited to see your next steps with this project in other substance abuse populations!

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_5092)
Reply to  Emily In
1 year ago

Thank you so much Emily!

Himani Gubbi
Himani Gubbi (@guest_6224)
1 year ago

Hi Ashley, I think this is very intriguing research on a topic that is very relevant, great job presenting!

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_6378)
Reply to  Himani Gubbi
1 year ago

Thank you so much Himani!

Katrina Russell
Katrina Russell (@guest_7848)
1 year ago

Awesome job, Ashley! Do you think in the next few years that there will be studies which compare PA to a health promotion control for adults in MMT? Why do you think these studies have not yet been conducted?

Ashley Abraham
Ashley Abraham (@guest_8804)
Reply to  Katrina Russell
1 year ago

Hi Katrina, thank you so much! I think that previous studies haven’t looked into physical activity as an adjunct to normal treatment as this field is relatively new and the focus of interventions has been primarily medication-based as demonstrated by our exploratory findings. I think in the future with the development of the idea of the comparison of a PA intervention to a health promotion control, will come more studies verifying this hypothesis.