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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.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO, USA.
2
iTether Technologies, 1300 East Missouri Avenue, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ,USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.

Abstract

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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

PMID:
30445639
DOI:
10.1093/pubmed/fdy207

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