Review of methadone treatment in Australia

3 Methodology

Page last updated: October 1995

The study was undertaken by members of Coopers & Lybrand Health and Community Services Division in cooperation with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC). The review was conducted under the auspices of a Steering Committee, who monitored the conduct of the study, and provided advice on its methodology and direction.

In undertaking this review, a structured approach was adopted, which comprised a number of processes:

  • A review of existing research literature reviewing private methadone programs in Australia.

  • An extensive consultative approach covering major stakeholders in all jurisdictions in Australia in both the public and private sectors, including:
    • representatives of Commonwealth and State health authorities
    • Associations and Colleges of relevant professions of medicine
    • private and public medical practitioners, nursing and support personnel, pharmacists, pathologists and other health providers
    • clients, current and former, of methadone maintenance programs and
    • peak body user groups.
    A complete list of persons consulted is provided in Appendix B, and their contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

  • Distribution of a questionnaire to all State health authorities seeking data on activities in methadone programs in both the public and private sectors, together with costs incurred in the public sector.

  • A review of a 10% sample of Medicare data provided by the Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health pertaining to services provided to clients who received services under Medicare Item Number 66343.

  • Distribution of a questionnaire to private practitioners involved in methadone treatment in New South Wales and Victoria to identify treatment patterns in the private sector.
The information gathered through these processes was then assimilated into a draft report which was provided to the Steering Committee for comment and feedback. A final report was then prepared.
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