Psychiatric comorbidity of patients on methadone maintenance treatment with a history of sexual abuse

Einat Peles, David Potik, Shaul Schreiber, Miki Bloch, Miriam Adelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of a history of sexual abuse and its relation to psychiatric comorbidity among former opiate addicts currently on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). We evaluated the history of sexual abuse and current clinical obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), dissociative identity disorder (DID), and complex posttraumatic distress disorder (cPTSD), and administered the Life Events Inventory Questionnaire among 125 MMT patients (76 females and 49 males). Eighty (64%) patients had experienced sexual abuse, 69 (55.2%) met the criteria for clinical OCD, 20 (16.0%) for cPTSD and 13 (10.4%) for DID. More females had clinical OCD than males (63.2% vs. 42.9%, respectively, p=0.03). Sexually abused patients had higher rates of clinical OCD than their non-abused counterparts (67.5% vs. 33.3%, respectively, p<0.0005) and a higher mean number of negative life events (8.0±2.0 vs. 7.1±1.8, p=0.01). Sexually abused patients showed a trend towards a higher Dissociative Experiences Scale score (17.6±10.1 vs. 14.6±8.1, p=0.08) and rate of DID (13.8% vs. 4.4%, p=0.1), but no significant difference in the rate of cPTSD (17.5% vs. 13.3%, p=0.6) compared to non-abused subjects. The 80 sexually abused patients were mostly female (85%), and 57.5% of them were abused by a family member. In summary, more sexually abused MMT patients were diagnosed with clinical OCD and fewer with cPTSD and DID. Those with cPTSD were characterized by more negative life events, higher dissociation scores, and assaults by a family member. We conclude that sexually abused MMT patients should be screened for clinical OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-891
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • DID
  • Methadone maintenance treatment
  • OCD
  • Sexual abuse


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