Screening for Opioid Use Disorder and Co-Occurring Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Primary Care in New Mexico
Published in: Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, Volume 18, Article Number 6 (2023). doi: 10.1186/s13722-023-00362-5
Posted on RAND.org on March 10, 2023
Identifying patients in primary care services with opioid use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders is critical to providing treatment. Objectives of this study were to (1) assess the feasibility of recruiting people to screen in-person for opioid use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders (depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder) in primary care clinic waiting rooms in preparation for a randomized controlled trial, and (2) compare results of detecting these disorders by universal in-person screening compared to electronic health record (EHR) diagnoses.
This cross-sectional feasibility and pilot study recruited participants from four primary care clinics, two rural and two urban, from three health care organizations in New Mexico. Inclusion criteria were adults (≥ 18 years), attending one of the four clinics as a patient, and who spoke English or Spanish. Exclusion criteria were people attending the clinic for a non-primary care visit (e.g., dental, prescription pick up, social support). The main outcomes and measures were (1) recruitment feasibility which was assessed by frequencies and proportions of people approached and consented for in-person screening, and (2) relative differences of detecting opioid use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders in waiting rooms relative to aggregate EHR data from each clinic, measured by prevalence and prevalence ratios.
Over two-weeks, 1,478 potential participants were approached and 1,145 were consented and screened (77.5% of patients approached). Probable opioid use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders were identified in 2.4% of those screened compared to 0.8% in EHR. Similarly, universal screening relative to EHR identified higher proportions of probable opioid use disorder (4.5% vs. 3.4%), depression (17.5% vs. 12.7%) and post-traumatic stress disorder (19.0% vs. 3.6%).
Universal screening for opioid use disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder was feasible, and identified three times as many patients with these co-occurring disorders compared to EHR. Higher proportions of each condition were also identified, especially post-traumatic stress disorder. Results support that there are likely gaps in identification of these disorders in primary care services and demonstrate the need to better address the persistent public health problem of these co-occurring disorders.
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