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1.
BMC Med Educ ; 22(1): 575, 2022 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962815

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-funded Technology Transfer Centers had to rapidly adapt to ensure that the behavioral health workforce had continuous access to remote training and technical assistance (TTA). Although the Technology Transfer Centers have historically relied partially upon virtual methods for delivering TTA, the shift to a strictly virtual approach necessitated by COVID-19 restrictions has raised new questions for how to best proceed with services when social distancing guidelines are relaxed. The objective of this exploratory paper was to compare TTA provision in the six-month period prior to (9/1/19 thru 2/28/20) and during (4/1/20 thru 9/30/20) early COVID-19 restrictions to determine the extent to which the shift to virtual service provision impacted the behavioral health and medical workforce. Specifically, we examined participants' access to TTA, geographic reach of TTA, and workforce perceptions of satisfaction and utility with TTA provision. METHOD: Participant and event-level data were analyzed to compare the following metrics before and during the COVID pandemic: number of events and attendees; participant demographics; zip codes reached; coverage of rural, suburban, and urban areas; and perceptions of satisfaction with and utility of training. RESULTS: Findings showed a 40% increase in the number of events delivered (p < .001) and a 270% increase in the number of attendees (p < .001) during the COVID period when TTCs relied exclusively on virtual delivery. Geospatial analyses linking zip codes to a schematic of rural, suburban, and urban classifications throughout the United States revealed significant increases in the number of zip codes reached during the COVID time period. Satisfaction levels were comparable before and during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Findings show that expanded access to TTA services via virtual formats resulted in reach to more diverse attendees and regions, and did not come at the expense of satisfaction. Results suggest that virtual TTA should continue to be an important component of TTA offerings post-pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Workforce , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/education , Humans , Pandemics , United States , Workforce
2.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 775, 2022 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951225

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers were forced to shift many services quickly from in-person to virtual, including substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health (MH) treatment services. This led to a sharp increase in telehealth services, with health systems seeing patients virtually at hundreds of times the rate as before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. By analyzing qualitative data about SUD and MH care organizations' experiences using telehealth, this study aims to elucidate emergent themes related to telehealth use by the front-line behavioral health workforce. METHODS: This study uses qualitative data from large-scale web surveys distributed to SUD and MH organizations between May and August 2020. At the end of these surveys, the following question was posed in free-response form: "Is there anything else you would like to say about use of telehealth during or after the COVID-19 pandemic?" Respondents were asked to answer on behalf of their organizations. The 391 responses to this question were analyzed for emergent themes using a conventional approach to content analysis. RESULTS: Three major themes emerged: COVID-specific experiences with telehealth, general experiences with telehealth, and recommendations to continue telehealth delivery. Convenience, access to new populations, and lack of commute were frequently cited advantages of telehealth, while perceived ineffectiveness of and limited access to technology were frequently cited disadvantages. Also commonly mentioned was the relaxation of reimbursement regulations. Respondents supported continuation of relaxed regulations, increased institutional support, and using a combination of telehealth and in-person care in their practices. CONCLUSIONS: This study advanced our knowledge of how the behavioral health workforce experiences telehealth delivery. Further longitudinal research comparing treatment outcomes of those receiving in-person and virtual services will be necessary to undergird organizations' financial support, and perhaps also legislative support, for virtual SUD and MH services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Substance-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Workforce , Humans , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy
3.
J Addict Med ; 2022 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621686

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Among opioid use disorder (OUD)-treating providers, to characterize adaptations used to provide medications for OUD (MOUD) and factors associated with desire to continue virtual visits post-COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: In a national electronic survey of OUD-treating prescribers (July-August 2020), analyses restricted to X-waivered buprenorphine prescribers providing outpatient, longitudinal care for adults with OUD, quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey items and free text responses were conducted. RESULTS: Among 797 respondents, 49% were men, 57% ≥50 years, 76% White, 68% physicians. Respondents widely used virtual visits to continue prescribing existing MOUD regimens (79%), provide behavioral healthcare (71%), and initiate new MOUD prescriptions (49%). Most prescribers preferred to continue/expand use of virtual visits after COVID-19. In multivariable models, factors associated with preference to continue/expand virtual visits to initiate MOUD postpandemic were treating a moderate number of patients prepandemic (aOR = 1.67; 95%[CI] = 1.06,2.62) and practicing in an urban setting (aOR = 2.17; 95%[CI] = 1.48,3.18). Prescribing buprenorphine prepandemic (aOR = 2.06; 95%[CI] = 1.11,3.82) and working in an academic medical center (aOR = 2.47; 95%[CI] = 1.30,4.68) were associated with preference to continue/expand use of virtual visits to continue MOUD postpandemic. Prescribing naltrexone extended-release injection prepandemic was associated with preference to continue/expand virtual visits to initiate and continue MOUD (aOR = 1.51; 95%[CI] = 1.10,2.07; aOR = 1.74; 95%[CI] = 1.19,2.54). Qualitative findings suggest that providers appreciated virtual visits due to convenience and patient accessibility, but were concerned about liability and technological barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Surveyed prescribers widely used virtual visits to provide MOUD with overall positive experiences. Future studies should evaluate the impact of virtual visits on MOUD access and retention and clinical outcomes.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295163

ABSTRACT

Background: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers were forced to shift many services quickly from in-person to virtual, including substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health (MH) treatment services. This led to a sharp increase in use of telehealth services, with health systems seeing patients virtually at hundreds of times the rate as before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.By analyzing qualitative data about SUD and MH care providers’ experiences using telehealth, this study aims to elucidate emergent themes related to telehealth use by the front-line behavioral health workforce. Methods: This study uses qualitative data from large-scale web surveys distributed to SUD and MH providers between May and August 2020. At the end of these surveys, the following question was posed in free-response form: “ Is there anything else you would like to say about use of telehealth during or after the COVID-19 pandemic? ” The 391 responses to this question were analyzed for emergent themes using a conventional approach to content analysis. Results: Three major themes emerged in the data: COVID-specific experiences with telehealth, general experiences with telehealth, and recommendations to continue telehealth delivery. Convenience, access to new populations, and lack of commute were frequently cited advantages, while perceived ineffectiveness of and limited access to technology were frequently cited disadvantages. Also commonly mentioned was the relaxation of reimbursement regulations. Providers supported continuation of relaxed regulations, increased institutional support, and using a combination of telehealth and in-person care in their practices. Conclusions: This study advanced our knowledge of how the behavioral health workforce experiences telehealth delivery. Further longitudinal research comparing treatment outcomes of those receiving in-person and virtual services will be necessary to undergird organizations’ financial support, and perhaps also legislative support, of virtual SUD and MH services.

5.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 16(1): 78, 2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477437

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Expanding access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), such as buprenorphine and extended release (XR) naltrexone, is critical to addressing the US opioid epidemic, but little is known about prescriber satisfaction with delivering these two types of MOUD. The current study describes the satisfaction of prescribers delivering buprenorphine and XR-naltrexone while examining whether satisfaction is associated with current patient census and organizational environment. METHODS: As part of a cluster randomized clinical trial (RCT) focused on expanding access to medication for opioid use disorder, 41 MOUD prescribers in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin completed a web-based survey. The survey included measures of prescriber satisfaction with delivering buprenorphine treatment and XR-naltrexone. In addition, the survey measured several prescriber characteristics and their perceptions of the organizational environment. RESULTS: Prescribers were generally satisfied with their work in delivering these two types of MOUD. Prescribers reporting a greater number of patients (r = .46, p = .006), those who would recommend the center to others (r = .56, p < .001), and those reporting positive relationships with staff (r = .56, p < .001) reported significantly greater overall satisfaction with delivering buprenorphine treatment. Prescribers who more strongly endorsed feeling overburdened reported lower overall buprenorphine satisfaction (r = -.37, p = .02). None of the prescriber characteristics or perceptions of the organizational environment were significantly associated with overall satisfaction with delivering XR-naltrexone treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The generally high levels of satisfaction with both types of MOUD is notable given that prescriber dissatisfaction can lead to turnover and impact intentions to leave the profession. Future research should continue to explore the prescriber characteristics and organizational factors associated with satisfaction in providing different types of MOUD. REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov. NCT02926482. Date of registration: September 9, 2016. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02926482 .


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Humans , Naltrexone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Personal Satisfaction
6.
Psychiatr Serv ; 73(4): 374-380, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348210

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected health care delivery, effects that are juxtaposed with health care professional (HCP) burnout and mental distress. The Opioid Use Disorder Provider COVID-19 Survey was conducted to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on clinical practice and HCP well-being. METHODS: The cross-sectional survey was e-mailed to listservs with approximately 157,000 subscribers of diverse professions between July 14 and August 15, 2020. Two dependent variables evaluated HCP functioning and work-life balance. Independent variables assessed organizational practices and HCP experiences. Covariates included participant demographic characteristics, addiction board certification, and practice setting. Multilevel multivariate logistic regression models were used. RESULTS: Among 812 survey respondents, most were men, White, and physicians, with 46% located in urban settings. Function-impairing anxiety was reported by 17%, and 28% reported more difficulty with work-life balance. Difficulty with functioning was positively associated with having staff who were sick with COVID-19 and feeling close to patients, and was negatively associated with being male and having no staff changes. Difficulty with work-life balance was positively associated with addiction board certification; working in multiple settings; having layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours; staff illness with COVID-19; and group well-being check-ins. It was negatively associated with male gender, older age, and no staff changes. CONCLUSIONS: Demographic, provider, and organizational-practice variables were associated with reporting negative measures of well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. These results should inform HCPs and their organizations on factors that may lead to burnout, with particular focus on gender and age-related concerns and the role of well-being check-ins.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
Community Ment Health J ; 57(7): 1244-1251, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281296

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 social distancing guidelines caused a rapid transition to telephone and video technologies for the delivery of mental health (MH) services. The study examined: (a) adoption of these technologies across the MH service continuum; (b) acceptance of these technologies; and (c) intention of providers to use these technologies following the pandemic based on a sample of 327 MH organizations from 22 states during May-August 2020. There was widespread use of technology, with greater than 69% of organizations reporting using telephone or video for most services. For all video services and just three telephone services, organizations reported significantly greater odds of intending to use technology to deliver services post-COVID-19. Use of video was seen as more desirable as compared to telephone. The overall perceived ease of use and usefulness for video-based services and certain telephone services provide a promising outlook for use of these services post the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
JMIR Ment Health ; 8(2): e25835, 2021 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073230

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social distancing guidelines for COVID-19 have caused a rapid transition to telephone and video technologies for delivering treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs). OBJECTIVE: This study examined the adoption of these technologies across the SUD service continuum, acceptance of these technologies among service providers, and intent of providers to use these technologies after the pandemic. Additional analysis using the validated technology acceptance model (TAM) was performed to test the potential applications of these technologies after the pandemic. The study objectives were as follows: (1) to assess the use of telehealth (telephone and video technologies) for different SUD services during COVID-19 in May-June 2020, (2) to assess the intended applications of telehealth for SUD services beyond COVID-19, (3) to evaluate the perceived ease of use and value of telehealth for delivering SUD services, and (4) to assess organizational readiness for the sustained use of telehealth services. METHODS: An online survey on the use of telephonic and video services was distributed between May and August 2020 to measure the current use of these services, perceived organizational readiness to use these services, and the intent to use these services after COVID-19. In total, 8 of 10 regional Addiction Technology Transfer Centers representing 43 states distributed the survey. Individual organizations were the unit of analysis. RESULTS: In total, 457 organizations responded to the survey. Overall, the technology was widely used; >70% (n>335) of organizations reported using telephone or video platforms for most services. The odds of the intent of organizations to use these technologies to deliver services post COVID-19 were significantly greater for all but two services (ie, telephonic residential counseling and buprenorphine therapy; mean odds ratio 3.79, range 1.87-6.98). Clinical users preferred video technologies to telephone technologies for virtually all services. Readiness to use telephone and video technologies was high across numerous factors, though telephonic services were considered more accessible. Consistent with the TAM, perceived usefulness and ease of use influenced the intent to use both telephone and video technologies. CONCLUSIONS: The overall perceived ease of use and usefulness of telephonic and video services suggest promising post-COVID-19 applications of these services. Survey participants consistently preferred video services to telephonic services; however, the availability of telephonic services to those lacking easy access to video technology is an important characteristic of these services. Future studies should review the acceptance of telehealth services and their comparative impact on SUD care outcomes.

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