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A Peer Recovery Coach Intervention for Hospitalized Patients with Opioid Use Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

OBJECTIVES: Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) are increasingly being hospitalized for acute medical illnesses. Despite initiation of medications for OUD (MOUDs), many discontinue treatment after discharge. To evaluate whether a psychosocial intervention can improve MOUD retention after hospitalization, we conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial of a peer recovery coach intervention.

METHODS: An existing peer recovery coach intervention was adapted for this trial. Hospitalized adults with OUD receiving MOUD treatment were randomized to receive either a recovery coach intervention or treatment-as-usual. For those in the intervention arm, the coach guided the participant to complete a relapse prevention plan, maintained contact throughout the 6-month follow-up period, encouraged MOUD continuation, and helped to identify community resources. Those receiving treatment-as-usual were discharged with a referral to outpatient treatment. Primary outcome was retention in MOUD treatment at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of participants readmitted to the hospital and the number of days until treatment discontinuation and to hospital readmission.

RESULTS: Twenty-five individuals who provided consent and randomized to the recovery coach intervention (n = 13) or treatment-as-usual (n = 12) were included in the analysis. No significant differences were found in the proportion of participants retained in MOUD treatment at 6 months (38.5% vs 41.7%, P = 0.87), proportion of participants readmitted at 6 months (46.2% vs 41.2%, P = 0.82), or the time to treatment discontinuation (log-rank P = 0.92) or readmission (log-rank P = 0.85).

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot trial failed to demonstrate that a recovery coach intervention improved MOUD treatment retention compared with treatment-as-usual among hospitalized individuals with OUD.

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