Substance use disorder (SUD) is a serious public health concern that requires continuum care with effective treatment modalities such as residential rehabilitation. Improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is one of the determinants of treatment and rehabilitation effectiveness. Therefore, a retrospective cross-sectional study was carried out in seven residential rehabilitation centres in Sri Lanka to determine the HRQoL of the rehabilitees with SUD.
The HRQoL of 464 individuals at their enrolment and during the rehabilitation period was assessed using EuroQol five-level five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L). Data were analysed using IBM SPSS version 26.
The majority of the participants were Sinhala (n = 419, 90.3%) and Buddhist (n = 368, 79.3%) males (n = 461, 99.4%). Most were unmarried (n = 302, 65.1%), young adults (n = 385, 83.0%) who have pursued secondary or higher education (n = 276, 59.5%) and 87.3% were employed (n = 405). Most of the selected centres use biopsychosocial model (n = 4, 57.1%) as the rehabilitation approach while rest practice therapeutic community (n = 3, 42.9%). The average EQ-5D-5L index [range =( − 0.45)–1.00] of the rehabilitees at their enrolment was 0.52 ± 0.28 and the EQ-5D-5L Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-5D-5L VAS) score (range = 0–100%) was 47.17% ± 23.48%. The values were increased up to 0.83 ± 0.18 (EQ-5D-5L index) and 84.25% ± 16.79% (EQ-5D-5L VAS) during the rehabilitation period. Only 19.4% of the rehabilitees had a normal or upper normal HRQoL (≥ 0.75 EQ-5D-5L Index) at their enrolment and 72.2% of rehabilitees reported normal or upper normal HRQoL during the rehabilitation period.
A significant improvement in the HRQoL of the participants was observed during the residential treatment in comparison to the enrolment, despite the differences in the rehabilitation programs.