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

Early impacts of a multi-faceted implementation strategy to increase use of medication treatments for opioid use disorder in the Veterans Health Administration.

Gustavson AM, Wisdom JP, Kenny ME, Salameh HA, Ackland PE, Clothier B, Noorbaloochi S, Gordon AJ, Hagedorn HJ. Early impacts of a multi-faceted implementation strategy to increase use of medication treatments for opioid use disorder in the Veterans Health Administration. Implementation science communications. 2021 Feb 15; 2(1):20.

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


BACKGROUND: Despite the risk of negative sequelae from opioid use disorder (OUD) and clinical guidelines for the use of effective medication treatment for OUD (M-OUD), many Veterans Health Administration (VHA) providers and facilities lag in providing M-OUD. An intensive external facilitation intervention may enhance uptake in low-adopting VHA facilities by engaging stakeholders from multiple clinical settings within a facility (e.g., mental health, primary care, pain specialty clinic, substance use disorder clinics). Our study identified pre-intervention determinants of implementation through qualitative interviews, described strategies employed during the first 6 months of intensive external facilitation, and explored patterns of implementation determinants in relation to early outcomes. METHODS: Guided by the integrated-Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARIHS) framework, we interviewed stakeholders at low-adopting VHA facilities prior to external facilitation, employed a rapid qualitative analytic process, presented findings during facility visits, and collaboratively created facilitation action plans to achieve goals set by the facilities that would increase M-OUD uptake. The primary outcome was the Substance Use Disorder (SUD)-16, which is a VHA facility-level performance metric consisting of the percent of patients receiving M-OUD among those with an OUD diagnosis. We examined the relationship between pre-implementation factors and 6-month SUD-16 outcomes. RESULTS: Across eight VHA facilities, we interviewed 68 participants. Implementation determinants included barriers and facilitators across innovation, context, and recipients constructs of i-PARIHS. Each facility selected goals based on the qualitative results. At 6 months, two facilities achieved most goals and two facilities demonstrated progress. The SUD-16 from baseline to 6 months significantly improved in two facilities (8.4% increase (95 % confidence interval [CI] 4.4-12.4) and 9.9% increase (95% CI 3.6-16.2), respectively). Six-month implementation outcomes showed that the extent to which M-OUD aligns with existing clinical practices and values was a primary factor at all facilities, with six of eight facilities perceiving it as both a barrier and facilitator. External health system barriers were most challenging for facilities with the smallest change in SUD-16. CONCLUSIONS: Early impacts of a multi-faceted implementation approach demonstrated a strong signal for positively impacting M-OUD prescribing in low-adopting VHA facilities. This signal indicates that external facilitation can influence adoption of M-OUD at the facility level in the early implementation phase. These short-term wins experienced by stakeholders may encourage continued adoption and long-term sustainability M-OUD.

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.