Predictors of cocaine use disorder treatment outcomes: a systematic review.

Background Psychosocial approaches are the first-line treatments for cocaine dependence, although they still present high dropout and relapse rates. Thus, there is a pressing need to understand which variables influence treatment outcomes to improve current treatments and prevent dropout and relapse rates. The aim of this study is to explore predictors of treatment retention and abstinence in CUD. Methods This systematic review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). We searched three databases PubMed, PsychINFO and Web of Science for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) published in English and Spanish from database inception through April 1, 2023. We selected all studies that met the inclusion criteria (adults aged ≥ 18, outpatient treatment, CUD as main addiction, and no severe mental illness) to obtain data for the narrative synthesis addressing cocaine abstinence and treatment retention as main outcome variables. After data extraction was completed, risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials (RoB-2). Results A total of 566 studies were screened, and, of those, 32 RCTs were included in the synthesis. Younger age, more years of cocaine use, and craving levels were significant predictors of relapse and treatment dropout. Fewer withdrawal symptoms, greater baseline abstinence, greater treatment engagement, and more self-efficacy were all predictors of longer duration of abstinence. The role of impulsivity as a predictor of CUD is unclear due to conflicting data, although the evidence generally suggests that higher impulsivity scores can predict more severe addiction and withdrawal symptoms, and earlier discontinuation of treatment. Conclusion Current evidence indicates which variables have a direct influence on treatment outcomes, including well-studied cocaine use-related variables. However, additional variables, such as genetic markers, appear to have a high impact on treatment outcomes and need further study. Systematic review registration This systematic review is registered at PROSPERO (ID: CRD42021271847) ​
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