Patient evaluation of a smartphone application for telehealth care of opioid use disorder

Jordon D. Bosse, Kim Hoffman, Katharina Wiest, P. Todd Korthuis, Ritwika Petluri, Kellie Pertl, Stephen A. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: People with opioid use disorder (OUD) face barriers to entering and remaining in life-saving treatment (e.g., stigma, detrimental interactions with health care, and privacy concerns). Telehealth and related technology can reduce barriers to entering and staying in care. Patient feedback is critical to the development of these newer treatment approaches to ensure they are usable and do not inadvertently recreate treatment barriers. Purpose: Evaluate the perceived usability of existing and planned features of a mobile application (app) that facilitates delivery of OUD treatment via telehealth. Methods: People with current or prior experience with OUD treatment were eligible for the study. Participants (n = 31; 55% women) provided feedback on an interactive prototype demonstration via individual qualitative interviews and completed a quantitative survey on the app’s perceived usability. Descriptive statistics summarized the usability survey. We analyzed qualitative interview transcripts to elicit common themes. Results: Participants were primarily white (77%) with a mean age of 42.2 years (range 22–69). Participants rated the six major features of the current app as helpful (median response 5 out of 5) and appreciated the flexibility of conducting a visit from a place of their choosing. Participants regarded the five proposed components of the app, such as daily affirmations and medication treatment-related reminders (e.g., pick up medication at pharmacy, medication schedule), as useful features with medians 5 out of 5, and reported they would recommend the app to others for OUD care. Participant qualitative interviews provided additional information on perceived usability of existing and proposed app features. Conclusion: Our study suggests that an appealing, easy-to-use app—with tools and features that effectively support care—could circumvent existing barriers and foster sustained recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50
JournalAddiction Science and Clinical Practice
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Opioid use disorder
  • Substance use disorder
  • Telehealth
  • Treatment for opioid use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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