Dietary habits of patients undergoing methadone therapy

G. McKenna, S. Manton

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to record the dietary habits of patients undergoing methadone therapy.

BACKGROUND: Numerous studies report that patients undergoing methadone treatment present with high levels of oral disease, especially dental caries. A number of factors have been described to account for this: sugared methadone preparations, prolonged oral retention, associated xerostomia and poor diet.

METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study using survey methodology was conducted of patients attending a non-resident drug rehabilitation clinic. A self-completion questionnaire and diet diary were developed and distributed to 66 patients over an 8 week period.

RESULTS: Of the 66 questionnaires distributed, 52 were successfully completed giving a response rate of 79%. 6 patients declined to complete the questionnaire. The surveyed patient pool consisted of 32 females (62%) and 20 males (38%) with a mean age of 32 years. All the participants were taking a prescribed daily dose of methadone when questioned. 68% of respondents consumed convience foods or sugary snacks every day. Of those patients who drank tea or coffee daily, 84% added sugar and 54% added 3 teaspoons or more. The majority of patients (71%) consumed at least one glass of a fizzy soft drink daily. In addition, the majority of respondents indicated that they snacked regularly between meals and 24% stated that they often woke up during the night for a snack. Patients recorded their last intake of food ranging from 5pm to 3am.

CONCLUSIONS: The patients surveyed had poor dietary habits. Respondents consumed a large amount of convience foods and sugars during mealtimes and through regular snacking. Dietary counselling should be considered as part of treatment for patients undergoing methadone therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0032
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue numberSpec. Iss B
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event2007 IADR Irish Division Annual Scientific Meeting - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 04 Oct 200705 Oct 2007

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