Collaborative care shown to be successful for patients with opioid addictions

Mar 14, 2011

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that for the majority of patients with opioid addiction, collaborative care with nurse care managers is a successful method of service delivery while effectively utilizing the time of physicians prescribing buprenorphine. The findings, which appear in the March 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, serve as a model of service delivery for facilitating access and improving outcomes in patients with opioid addiction.

Opioid addiction is a chronic, relapsing that affects millions of Americans and places a tremendous burden on the . Recent
studies have revealed alarming increases in opioid addiction and overdoses, particularly with regard to prescription opioids. Less than 25 percent of individuals addicted to opioids receive addiction treatment.

In 2002, US physicians gained the opportunity to treat opioid-addicted with buprenorphine in primary care settings, commonly referred to as office-based opioid treatment (OBOT). Although OBOT has been shown to be effective in primary care settings, it remains underutilized in traditional care models mainly due to the lack of adequate clinical support given the additional needs for patient monitoring.

From 2003 to 2008, 408 patients with opioid addiction were treated with utilizing collaborative care between nurse care managers and generalist physicians. At 12 months, 51 percent of patients (196/382) underwent successful treatment. Of patients remaining in treatment at three, six, nine and 12 months, 93 percent were no longer using illicit opioids or cocaine based on urine drug tests.

"These outcomes were achieved with a model that facilitated physician involvement," said lead author Daniel P. Alford, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM, an associate professor of medicine at BUSM.

"Our study shows that in this particular setting, collaboration with nurse care managers allowed academic generalist physicians with research, administrative and clinical responsibilities to effectively and safely treat a large number of patients, many of whom had complex psychosocial needs," he added.

According to the researchers this study adds to the growing body of evidence that office-based treatment of opioid addiction is feasible in settings.

Explore further: Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, 'alternative' medicines

Provided by Boston University Medical Center

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Doctors lax in monitoring potentially addicting drugs

Mar 03, 2011

Few primary care physicians pay adequate attention to patients taking prescription opioid drugs -- despite the potential for abuse, addiction and overdose, according to a new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0