Most individuals with opiate and alcohol-use disorders (OAUD) do not receive treatment. Primary care is an ideal setting in which to deliver OAUD treatment, yet evidence-based OAUD treatment is rarely provided. Barriers to delivery include insufficient organizational support and lack of provider role models and clinical support. We propose to evaluate the effectiveness of two strategies for increasing use of evidence-based treatment for OAUD within primary care: integrated collaborative care (ICC) and education and resources (E&R). While both strategies provide primary care practices with the same clinical information, ICC addresses these barriers by including organizational and technical support for delivering evidence-based care. ICC is grounded in the chronic care model and includes a behavioral health provider working as part of the care team. Essential elements of ICC strategy include a decision support component to help providers with complex patients, and a restructuring of the delivery and clinical information systems to support the delivery of evidence-based care. Our approach to implementing ICC is based on the organizational transformation model and quality improvement. We define the E&R strategy as providing printed educational materials and access to resources along with provider education. Both strategies are designed to increase the delivery of two evidence-based practices: motivational enhancement therapy and medication assisted therapy. We propose a 5-year mixed methods study and will conduct a RCT, with randomization occurring at the level of the care team and patient. We partner with 5 Venice Family Clinic (VFC) clinics, two hospitals in LA County, and COPE Health Solutions. VFC is a large federally qualified health center (FQHC) and the largest free clinic in the United States. Our approach includes document review, focus groups, interviews, and surveys for obtaining data on the adoption process and implementation outcomes;analysis of patient records and patient surveys on service system and patient outcomes;and analysis of provider financial records and patient records and surveys for estimating costs. We will enroll 400 patients with an OAUD diagnosis and follow them at 3 and 12 months.
Our specific aims are: 1) To measure the process and extent of ICC and E&R implementation;2) To test the effectiveness of ICC compared to an E&R strategy in promoting A. Implementation outcomes B. Service system outcomes and C. Patient outcomes;and 3) To estimate provider costs for each strategy. We define implementation outcomes as measures of the acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, and sustainability of evidence-based OAUD treatment. We define service system outcomes as 1) process measures of treatment quality and 2) treatment co-morbidities. We define patient outcomes as hospital readmissions, OAUD outcomes, patient functioning, negative consequences from substance use, and unmet need. We define cost outcomes as start-up costs, operating costs and medical/psychiatric cost offsets.

Public Health Relevance

Primary care settings (PCS) are a missed opportunity for delivering evidence-based treatments for opiate and alcohol-use disorders (OAUD). We propose to evaluate the costs and effectiveness of two strategies to increase the delivery of OAUD treatments in PCS, integrated collaborative care and education and resources. Results from our study will help providers choose between two different strategies and advance the field of implementation research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-GXM-A (04))
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Ducharme, Lori
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Rand Corporation
Santa Monica
United States
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