Perspectives on a contingency management intervention for alcohol use among consumers with serious mental illness.

Objective: This study describes the perspectives of outpatients with serious mental illness (SMI) and alcohol dependence on their participation in a contingency management (CM) intervention for alcohol use. Methods: Thirty-five adults with SMI and alcohol dependence participated in a randomized trial of CM for alcohol use, where they were rewarded with prizes contingent on abstinence from alcohol. All participants were interviewed regarding their participation in CM with a consistent structure that included nine open-ended questions. Favored and disliked aspects of CM, perception of alcohol biomarker accuracy, and interest in participating in similar CM interventions provided by treatment centers, rather than researchers, were explored. Results: Participants spoke enthusiastically about receiving prizes, as well as how CM increased their awareness of drinking and helped support their abstinence from alcohol. Most participants felt the ethyl glucuronide biomarker urine tests used to measure alcohol use were accurate, and they were interested in enrolling in CM if it was offered as a clinical program. Research staff who implemented the intervention were well regarded by participants, and interactions with research staff were perceived positively. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Adults with SMI and alcohol dependence participating in a trial of CM for alcohol use reported overall positive perceptions of and experiences with CM. Receiving small tangible prizes and having positive interpersonal interactions with study staff were reported as especially impactful. These findings indicate that CM is well received by consumers, in addition to its empirical and practical benefits as an evidence-based, low-cost intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)