CHC Primary Care Providers’ Perceptions, Practices, and Training Needs in relation to Substance Use Disorders and Medication Assisted Treatment
The MPATTC conducted a survey with primary care providers (PCPs) working in Community Health Centers (CHCs) in HHS Region 8, in order to determine their perceptions, practices, and training/technical assistance needs in relation to substance use disorders (SUDs) and medication assisted treatment (MAT). The survey was distributed to PCPs in CHCs in Region 8, with the collaboration and assistance of the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS). A total of 100 PCPs participated in the survey.
Findings indicated that 59% of the participating PCPs were prescribing MAT in their practices. Almost all (90%) were prescribing Buprenorphine/Naloxone in combination, with 83% prescribing Naloxone, and 54% prescribing Buprenorphine. Few were prescribing MAT to pregnant women (22%) or adolescents (12%). A large majority (93%) of MAT prescribers indicated that their agencies served MAT patients through an integrated care model, but only 37% indicated that their agency offered an MAT support group. While most indicated that the MAT waiver training adequately prepared them to prescribe MAT (82%) and manage patients on MAT (77%), fully 65% would still like additional training in these areas. Among those PCPs who were not prescribing MAT, 91% indicated that they were planning to begin prescribing within the next year. Among all participating PCPs, the top training/technical assistance needs identified were:
- Co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders
- Improving access and patient retention in treatment
- Family support models for patients in treatment for SUDs
- MAT in pregnant and post-partum women
- Skills in the use of Motivational Interviewing (tie)
- Breastfeeding with MAT (tie)
The findings from this survey will provide guidance to the MPATTC relative to addressing training and technical assistance needs, format of training, and structure of trainings for PCPs working with patients with SUDs. The MPATTC will share these findings with CHAMPS and the related state CHC associations, in an effort to provide collaborative guidance to the training/technical assistance efforts of those associations as well.
Prepared by: Tracy A. Evanson, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC