Perspectives on contingency management for alcohol use and alcohol-associated conditions among people in care with HIV

Shawn M. Cohen, Dominick DePhilippis, Yanhong Deng, James Dziura, Tekeda Ferguson, Lisa M. Fucito, Amy C. Justice, Stephen Maisto, Vincent C. Marconi, Patricia Molina, Manuel Paris, Maria C. Rodriguez-Barradas, Michael Simberkoff, Nancy M. Petry, David A. Fiellin, E. Jennifer Edelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Contingency management (CM) is an evidence-based approach for reducing alcohol use; however, its implementation into routine HIV primary care-based settings has been limited. We evaluated perspectives on implementing CM to address unhealthy alcohol use and associated conditions for people with HIV in primary care settings. Methods: From May 2021 to August 2021, we conducted two focus groups with staff involved in delivering the intervention (n = 5 Social Workers and n = 4 Research Coordinators) and individual interviews (n = 13) with a subset of participants involved in the multi-site Financial Incentives, Randomization, and Stepped Treatment (FIRST) trial. Qualitative data collection and analyses were informed by the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Service (PARIHS) implementation science framework, including evidence (perception of CM), context (HIV primary care clinic and CM procedures), and facilitation (feasibility outside the research setting). Results: Several major themes were identified. Regarding the evidence, participants lacked prior experience with CM, but the intervention was well received and, by some, perceived to lead to lasting behavior change. Regarding the clinical context for the reward schedule, the use of biochemical testing, specifically fingerstick phosphatidylethanol testing, and the reward process were perceived to be engaging and gratifying for both staff and patients. Participants indicated that the intervention was enhanced by its co-location within the HIV clinic. Regarding facilitation, participants suggested addressing the intervention's feasibility for non-research use, simplifying the reward structure, and rewarding non-abstinence in alcohol use. Conclusions: Among patients and staff involved in a clinical trial, CM was viewed as a helpful, positive, and feasible approach to addressing unhealthy alcohol use and related conditions. To enhance implementation, future efforts may consider simplified approaches to the reward structure and expanding rewards to non-abstinent reductions in alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1783-1797
Number of pages15
JournalAlcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • HIV
  • alcohol-related disorders
  • integrated
  • reward
  • substance-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Toxicology


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