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Tools to implement measurement-based care (MBC) in the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD): toward a consensus


Journal Article

Rush, A. J.; Gore-Langton, R. E.; Bart, G.; Bradley, K. A.; Campbell, C. I.; McKay, J.; Oslin, D. W.; Saxon, A. J.; Winhusen, T. J.; Wu, L. T.; Moran, L. M.; Tai, B.




Addict Sci Clin Pract




Humans *Quality of Life Consensus *Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods Addiction Drug Epidemic Measurement-based care Opioid use disorder Overdose

BACKGROUND: The prevalence and associated overdose death rates from opioid use disorder (OUD) have dramatically increased in the last decade. Despite more available treatments than 20 years ago, treatment access and high discontinuation rates are challenges, as are personalized medication dosing and making timely treatment changes when treatments fail. In other fields such as depression, brief measures to address these tasks combined with an action plan-so-called measurement-based care (MBC)-have been associated with better outcomes. This workgroup aimed to determine whether brief measures can be identified for using MBC for optimizing dosing or informing treatment decisions in OUD. METHODS: The National Institute on Drug Abuse Center for the Clinical Trials Network (NIDA CCTN) in 2022 convened a small workgroup to develop consensus about clinically usable measures to improve the quality of treatment delivery with MBC methods for OUD. Two clinical tasks were addressed: (1) to identify the optimal dose of medications for OUD for each patient and (2) to estimate the effectiveness of a treatment for a particular patient once implemented, in a more granular fashion than the binary categories of early or sustained remission or no remission found in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). DISCUSSION: Five parameters were recommended to personalize medication dose adjustment: withdrawal symptoms, opioid use, magnitude (severity and duration) of the subjective effects when opioids are used, craving, and side effects. A brief rating of each OUD-specific parameter to adjust dosing and a global assessment or verbal question for side-effects was viewed as sufficient. Whether these ratings produce better outcomes (e.g., treatment engagement and retention) in practice deserves study. There was consensus that core signs and symptoms of OUD based on some of the 5 DSM-5 domains (e.g., craving, withdrawal) should be the basis for assessing treatment outcome. No existing brief measure was found to meet all the consensus recommendations. Next steps would be to select, adapt or develop de novo items/brief scales to inform clinical decision-making about dose and treatment effectiveness. Psychometric testing, assessment of acceptability and whether the use of such scales produces better symptom control, quality of life (QoL), daily function or better prognosis as compared to treatment as usual deserves investigation.

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