Web-based videoconferencing can improve access to substance abuse treatment by allowing patients to receive counseling services in their homes. This randomized clinical trial evaluates the feasibility and acceptability of Web-based videoconferencing in community opioid treatment program (OTP) participants. Participants that reported computer and Internet access (n=85) were randomly assigned to receive 12weeks of weekly individual counseling in-person or via eGetgoing, a Web-based videoconferencing platform. Fifty-nine of these participants completed the study (eGetgoing=24; in-person=35), with most study withdrawal occurring among eGetgoing participants. Participants exposed to the study conditions had similar rates of counseling attendance and drug-positive urinalysis results, and reported similar and strong ratings of treatment satisfaction and therapeutic alliance. These results support the feasibility and acceptability of Web-based counseling as a good method to extend access to individual substance abuse counseling when compared to in-person counseling for patients that are able to maintain a computer and Internet connection for reliable communication.
Keywords: Methadone maintenance; Substance abuse treatment; Therapeutic alliance; Treatment satisfaction; Web-based videoconferencing.