There is a growing body of research supporting the use of buprenorphine and other medication assisted treatments (MATs) for the rapidly accelerating opioid epidemic in the United States. Despite numerous advantages of buprenorphine (accessible in primary care, no daily dosing required, minimal stigma), implementation has been slow. As the field progresses, there is a need to understand the impact of participation in practitioner-scientist research networks on acceptance and uptake of buprenorphine. This paper examines the impact of research network participation on counselor attitudes toward buprenorphine addressing both counselor-level characteristics and program-level variables using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to account for nesting of counselors within treatment programs. Using data from the National Treatment Center Study, this project compares privately funded treatment programs (N=345) versus programs affiliated with the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN) (N=198). Models included 922 counselors in 172 CTN programs and 1203 counselors in 251 private programs. Results of two-level HLM logistic (Bernoulli) models revealed that counselors with higher levels of education, larger caseloads, more buprenorphine-specific training, and less preference for 12-step treatment models were more likely to perceive buprenorphine as acceptable and effective. Furthermore, buprenorphine was 50% more likely to be perceived as effective among counselors working in CTN-affiliated programs as compared to private programs. This study suggests that research network affiliation positively impacts counselors' acceptance and perceptions of buprenorphine. Thus, research network participation can be utilized as a means to promote positive attitudes toward the implementation of innovations including medication assisted treatment.
- Research network participation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health