Primary care models for treating opioid use disorders: What actually works? A systematic review

Pooja Lagisetty, Katarzyna Klasa, Christopher Bush, Michele Heisler, Vineet Chopra, Amy Bohnert
PloS One 2017, 12 (10): e0186315

BACKGROUND: Primary care-based models for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) have been shown to reduce mortality for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and have equivalent efficacy to MAT in specialty substance treatment facilities.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to systematically analyze current evidence-based, primary care OUD MAT interventions and identify program structures and processes associated with improved patient outcomes in order to guide future policy and implementation in primary care settings.


METHODS: We included randomized controlled or quasi experimental trials and observational studies evaluating OUD treatment in primary care settings treating adult patient populations and assessed structural domains using an established systems engineering framework.

RESULTS: We included 35 interventions (10 RCTs and 25 quasi-experimental interventions) that all tested MAT, buprenorphine or methadone, in primary care settings across 8 countries. Most included interventions used joint multi-disciplinary (specialty addiction services combined with primary care) and coordinated care by physician and non-physician provider delivery models to provide MAT. Despite large variability in reported patient outcomes, processes, and tasks/tools used, similar key design factors arose among successful programs including integrated clinical teams with support staff who were often advanced practice clinicians (nurses and pharmacists) as clinical care managers, incorporating patient "agreements," and using home inductions to make treatment more convenient for patients and providers.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that multidisciplinary and coordinated care delivery models are an effective strategy to implement OUD treatment and increase MAT access in primary care, but research directly comparing specific structures and processes of care models is still needed.


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