The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

HARCP Archives

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2024, 26, 19

"Life feels better with the right medication". Results from a service user organization-led survey of opioid maintenance treatment patients in Norway

Gabrielle K. Welle-Strand, Marianne Pierron, Ida Kristine Olsen, Ronny Bjørnestad, and Rebecca McDonald

Digital Object Identifier:

Summary: Background: Opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) is the first-line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), but little is known about patient-reported outcomes. This study aimed to explore 1) the participants’ experience and satisfaction with their current OMT medication and 2) the association between medication satisfaction and self-rated health, relationship to treatment providers, and overall treatment satisfaction, including intention to discontinue OMT. Methods: This is a nationwide cross-sectional study using data from an anonymous online patient satisfaction survey conducted by the service user organisation proLAR Nett in Norway from February to September 2021. The study sample consisted of individuals identifying as patients currently enrolled in OMT. Participants were recruited via direct community outreach, social media (Facebook), and treatment and low-threshold service providers. Results: Among the study sample of n=831 OMT patients, most were male (463; 56%), above the age of 45 (431; 52%) and had been in treatment for 8+ years (567; 68%). Their current OMT medication was as follows: sublingual buprenorphine (315; 38%), methadone syrup (251; 30%), buprenorphine depot (96; 12%), methadone tablets (76; 9%), morphine tablets (30; 4%) and levomethadone syrup (17; 2%). 464 (56%) participants reported being satisfied with their current OMT medication. Compared to participants not satisfied with their OMT medication, a smaller proportion of satisfied participants reported OMT medication side effects. Participants satisfied with their medication also reported significantly better self-rated physical and mental health, higher overall treatment satisfaction, and better cooperation with their OMT providers. Conclusions: For OMT patients, being satisfied with one’s OMT medication is associated with several positive treatment outcomes. Different patients seem to benefit from different medications, highlighting the importance of offering a wide range of OMT medications and including patients in decisions about their treatment.

Keywords: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder; patient involvement; treatment satisfaction; Opioid Agonist Treatment; methadone; buprenorphine


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