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  • COVID-19 Adaptations in the Care of Patients with Opioid Use Disorder: a Survey of California Primary Care Clinics. Journal of general internal medicine Caton, L., Cheng, H., Garneau, H. C., Fisher, T., Harris-Mills, B., Hurley, B., Newman, S., McGovern, M. P. 2021


    With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, many federal agencies relaxed policies regulating opioid use disorder treatment. The impact of these changes has been minimally documented. The abrupt nature of these shifts provides a naturalistic opportunity to examine adaptations for opioid use disorder treatment in primary care.To examine change in medical and behavioral health appointment frequency, visit type, and management of patients with opioid use disorder in response to COVID-19.A 14-item survey queried primary care practices that were enrolled in a medications for opioid use disorder statewide expansion project. Survey content focused on changes in service delivery because of COVID-19. The survey was open for 18 days.We surveyed 338 clinicians from 57 primary care clinics located in California, including federally qualified health centers and look-alikes. A representative from all 57 clinics (100%) and 118 staff (34.8% of all staff clinicians) participated in the survey.The survey consisted of seven dimensions of practice: medical visits, behavioral health visits, medication management, urine drug screenings, workflow, perceived patient demand, and staff experience.A total of 52 of 57 (91.2%) primary care clinics reported practice adaptations in response to COVID-19 regulatory changes. Many clinics indicated that both medical (40.4%) and behavioral health visits (53.8%) were now exclusively virtual. Two-thirds (65.4%) of clinics reported increased duration of buprenorphine prescriptions and reduced urine drug screenings (67.3%). The majority (56.1%) of clinics experienced an increase in patient demand for behavioral health services. Over half (56.2%) of clinics described having an easier or unchanged experience retaining patients in care.Many adaptations in the primary care approach to patients with opioid use disorder may be temporary reactions to COVID-19. Further evaluation of the impact of these adaptations on patient outcomes is needed to determine whether changes should be maintained post-COVID-19.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-020-06436-3

    View details for PubMedID 33511572

  • Implementation of health-focused interventions in vulnerable populations: protocol for a scoping review. BMJ open Midboe, A. M., Gray, C., Cheng, H., Okwara, L., Gale, R. C. 2020; 10 (7): e036937


    INTRODUCTION: Vulnerable populations face significant challenges in navigating the care continuum, ranging from diagnosis of illness to linkage and retention in healthcare. Understanding how best to move individuals within these vulnerable populations across the care continuum is critical to improving their health. A large body of literature has focused on evaluation of implementation of various health-focused interventions in this population. However, we do not fully understand the unique challenges to implementing healthcare interventions for vulnerable populations. This study aims to examine the literature describing implementation of health service interventions among vulnerable populations to identify how implementations using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research are adapted. Findings from this review will be useful to implementation scientists to identify gaps in evidence and for adapting similar interventions in unique settings.METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study protocol outlines a scoping review of the peer-reviewed and grey literature, using established approaches delineated in Arksey and O'Malley's scoping review framework and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews Checklist. Search strategies will be developed and refined by a medical librarian in collaboration with the research team. Searches will be conducted in electronic databases (CINAHL, Cochrane, PsychINFO, PubMed, Social Services Abstracts, Web of Science, Google and Google Scholar) and limited to studies published between 1 August 2009 and 1 June 2020. Additionally, hand searches will be conducted in three relevant journals-Implementation Science, Systematic Reviews and BMJ Open. English-language studies and reports meeting inclusion criteria will be screened independently by two reviewers and the final list will be abstracted and charted in duplicate.ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This is a review of the literature; ethics approval is not indicated. We will disseminate findings from this study in peer-reviewed journals as well as presentations to relevant stakeholders and conferences.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-036937

    View details for PubMedID 32690530

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