Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Perspectives on electronic portal use among patients treated with medications for opioid use disorder in primary care.

Chen J, Cabudol M, Williams EC, Merrill JO, Tsui JI, Klein JW. Perspectives on electronic portal use among patients treated with medications for opioid use disorder in primary care. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2021 Jul 1; 126:108463.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: Office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) with buprenorphine is increasingly integrated in primary care to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Online portals seek to engage patients in care of their chronic medical conditions, yet we know little about how patients with OUD experience these portals. Our study explores how patients with OUD perceive the impact of portal use on addiction treatment and clinical care. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We purposively sampled patients with an active portal account enrolled in an OBOT program embedded within primary care, stratifying by recent or distant portal use. The study conducted individual semistructured interviews to understand how patients perceived and interfaced with the portal until the study reached saturation of themes. The research team analyzed the data via thematic analysis and three investigators independently coded the data to identify themes, which all authors then refined. RESULTS: Among 17 participants, 9 were recent users and 8 were distant. Though we stratified analyses by level of portal use, the study observed no differences in resultant themes, thus the study combined themes, which we present here. Portal use was felt to (1) facilitate and reinforce OUD and other substance use treatment goals, (2) improve health care participation, (3) enable monitoring and addressing broader health concerns beyond SUD treatment, and (4) have mixed impacts on patient-provider trust. DISCUSSION: Our findings suggest that patients with OUD identify aspects of the patient portal contributing to their engagement and retention in substance use treatment. Lingering concerns remain about the potential of portal use to negatively impact the patient-provider relationship.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.