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J Public Health (Oxf). 2018 Nov 16. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy207. [Epub ahead of print]

Delivering information about medication assisted treatment to individuals who misuse opioids through a mobile app: a pilot study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO, USA.
iTether Technologies, 1300 East Missouri Avenue, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ,USA.
Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.



Digital therapeutic tools (e.g. mobile applications) can be accessible, low-cost interventions that counter misconceptions about medication assisted treatment (MAT) and/or improve deficits in MAT knowledge that are common barriers to treatment entry among individuals with opioid dependence. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the preliminary effectiveness of a mobile application, 'uMAT-R', that includes health information about OUD recovery supported by science and MAT benefits.


Twenty-six adult participants with OUD recruited via social media completed all modules and pre/post-assessments within uMAT-R. McNemar's test was used to compare interest in treatment before and after completing the app, and paired t tests were used to compare MAT attitude scores before and after completing the modules within uMAT-R.


Before viewing uMAT-R, 32% agreed/strongly agreed that they were interested in starting treatment to recover from opioid misuse, compared to 48% after completing uMAT-R. The average scores on the MAT attitudes scale and its Aid to Behavior Change subscale improved from before to after viewing uMAT-R. Among the participants, 88% felt that uMAT-R would be useful to consult when making decisions about recovery.


Our encouraging pilot findings support the use of uMAT-R to help address the current opioid epidemic.


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