Table 3

Impact of heroin prescription programme on health problems, use of services, and HIV related behaviours, Geneva, 1995–6. Values are numbers (percentages) of subjects unless stated otherwise

VariableExperimental group (n=27)Control group (n=21)P value for difference between groups
BaselineFollow upBaselineFollow up
Mean (SD) No of days with physical health problem in past 30 days 7.7 (10.2)7.3 (10.7)4.6 (8.5)10.3 (11.4)0.15
Treated by physician for physical problem in past 6 months16 (59)18 (67) 10 (48)11 (55)1.00
Mean (SD) No of days with mental health problem in past 30 days13.8 (11.8) 6.1 (9.9)**12.2 (11.2) 7.1 (10.7)0.54
Treated by physician for mental problem in past 6 months 4 (15) 15 (56)**5 (24) 2 (10) 0.008
Admitted to hospital in past 6 months for physical problems 8 (30)8 (30)3 (14) 3 (14)1.00
Experienced in past 30 days:
  Severe depression13 (48)8 (30)10 (48)  3 (14)*1.00
  Severe anxiety22 (82)12 (44)*9 (43) 9 (43)0.14
  Cognitive problems12 (44)7 (26)10 (48)11 (52)0.27
  Problem controlling violent behaviour 8 (30)5 (18)1 (5) 6 (29) 0.031
Suicide attempt in past 6 months 6 (22)1 (4) 3 (14) 4 (19)0.18
No of suicide attempts in past 6 months8136 0.022
Non-systematic use of condoms17 (63)14 (52) 6 (29) 8 (38)0.14
Shared injection materials in past 6 months12 (44) 1 (4)**5 (24) 3 (14)1.00
Did not always disinfect skin before injection in past month18 (67)   3 (11)***13 (62) 9 (43)1.00
  • † Significance of comparisons between baseline and follow up denoted by **P<0.01, ***P<0.001. Continuous variables: Wilcoxon matched pairs rank sum test (exact), dichotomous variables: McNemar's test (exact).

  • ‡ Continuous variables: Mann-Whitney U test (exact), dichotomous variables: test of homogeneity of McNemar odds ratio (exact)