Introduction: The opioid crisis is a persistent national public health concern, with Philadelphia at its epicenter. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs for opioid use disorder in primary care settings afford greater access to marginalized groups and integration of healthcare services. This study describes patient characteristics of a low-threshold, primary care-based MAT program in Philadelphia.
Methods: 134 patient interviews between February 12, 2019 and March 14, 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. Key characteristic measures included drug and alcohol use history, co-occurring health conditions, history of violence or trauma, and quality of life. The results from the two program locations, Stephen Klein Wellness Center and Pathways to Housing PA, were compared via Fisher’s Exact testing.
Results: Our MAT program engaged a large percentage of African American patients (45.5%), unemployed patients (75.4%), and patients with depression (50.8%) or anxiety (62.7%). 35.1% and 32.9% of patients reported concomitant cocaine or marijuana use, respectively. 83.6% of patients have a history of violence or trauma; a majority of these patients continued to experience negative effects of their trauma, including nightmares (78.6%), heightened vigilance (77.7%), and detachment (64.3%).
Conclusion: Integration of MAT into primary care increases accessibility of OUD treatment to marginalized groups. Expanding concomitant drug use treatment and trauma-informed care will further benefit clients in their recovery. Future research should focus on longitudinal analysis of patient measures to determine pertinent effects of our MAT program.
Wong, Zoe and Weinstein, MD, Lara, "Patient Characteristics of a Primary Care-Based Medication-Assisted Treatment Program for Opioid Use Disorder in Philadelphia" (2021). Phase 1. Paper 2.