Measuring the impact of the Capital Card®, a novel form of contingency management, on substance misuse treatment outcomes: A retrospective evaluation

Antony C. Moss, Devon De Silva, Sharon Cox, Caitlin Notley, Manish Nanda

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background The Capital Card, developed by WDP, is a digital innovation which acts as a form of contingency management, and aims to significantly improve service user outcomes. WDP is a substance misuse treatment provider commissioned by local authorities across the UK to support service users and their families affected by addiction. The Capital Card, much like commercial loyalty cards, uses a simple earn-spend points system which incentivises and rewards service users for engaging with services e.g. by attending key work sessions, Blood Borne Virus appointments or group-work sessions. The Spend activities available to service users are designed to improve overall wellbeing and build social and recovery capital, and include activities such as educational classes, fitness classes, driving lessons, and cinema tickets. Methods and findings We compared successful completion rates of 1,545 service users accessing one of WDP’s London based community services over a two-year period; before and after the Capital Card was introduced. Client demographics (age, sex and primary substance) were controlled for during the analysis. Once client demographics were controlled for, analysis showed that clients with a Capital Card were 1.5 times more likely to successfully complete treatment than those who had not had the Capital Card (OR = 1.507, 95% CI = 1.194 to 1.902). Conclusions The results of this initial evaluation are of particular interest to commissioners and policy makers as it indicates that the Capital Card can be used effectively as a form of contingency management to enhance recovery outcomes for service users engaging in community-based substance misuse services.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0229905
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020

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