Alexander Crizzle


Dr. Alexander Crizzle is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan. He has expertise in program evaluation and is a credentialed evaluator, a designation offered through the Canadian Evaluation Society. Dr. Crizzle has a strong research track record having led both small and large grant teams as Principle Investigator and has worked with community-based organizations on a ground level to develop or enhance their programs. His program of research is focused on gerontology and community mobility, as well as mental health and addictions with a particular focus on Indigenous populations.

Node Funded Project (April 2018)

Title: Improving success of the methadone clinic in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Principal Investigators: Alexander Crizzle and Geoffrey Maina, University of Saskatchewan


Colleen Dell, Michael Szafron (University of Saskatchewan)


The misuse of drugs including illicit drugs such as stimulants and opiates are a serious problemin Saskatchewan. A pilot study on the characteristics, determinants, and predictors of clinical outcomes for clients enrolled in the opiate replacement therapy (ORT) clinic in Prince Albert Community Health Centre showed that the average age of clients on was 35.5 years with slightly more than half of the clients being female (54%). Ethnically, 86% of the clients self-identified as Indigenous. Anecdotal information suggests that attrition rates for methadone maintenance treatment at this clinic is between 30-50% within the first year of enrollment. Approximately 49% of clients currently registered in the methadone clinic are repeat users having spent between 0-15 years in treatment. Understanding the experiences of clients as consumers of health care and the barriers they face in seeking care, and in adhering to treatment is vital to devising supportive interventions to promoting positive clinical outcomes. The purpose of this proposal is to: 1) explore client experiences with prior methadone treatment and 2) develop a model to predict clinical outcomes for these clients using data from the electronic medical records.


A retrospective review of 101 randomly selected electronic medical records representing one third of all the records were examined for sociodemographic characteristics, clinical profiles, and outcomes. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze these variables. Interviews with 18 healthcare providers focusing on their experiences of caring for clients in the MMT program were analyzed thematically.

The average age of clients on MMT is 35.5 years. Clients had early exposure to alcohol and drugs, and at the time of enrollment to the program, they presented with complex healthcare needs, borne from chronic use, and exposure to adverse traumatic events. Personal and systemic factors impact clients’ recovery. These include poverty, homelessness, and inadequate healthcare services. Understanding sociodemographic characteristics, clinical profiles, and clients’ challenges is central to the development of supportive interventions that enhance retention to care and recovery.


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