Patient Activation of Persons With Opioid Use Disorder in Intensive Outpatient Treatment
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Background High patient activation is associated with a variety of positive health outcomes. Although increasing patient activation in persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) in intensive outpatient treatment (IOT) programs may increase engagement and improve outcomes, little is known about how patient activation is manifested in these programs. Aims To describe types of instances in which persons play an active role in their IOT or show self-determination in their recovery generally (patient activation) and types of instances in which they play a passive role in their IOT or have recovery directed by others (patient nonactivation). Methods A qualitative descriptive study using data from a larger grounded theory study was conducted. Interviews were completed with 14 persons with OUD who attended an IOT program within a large health care system in the Midwest. Content analysis was used to create a typology of instances of patient activation or nonactivation in participants’ IOT experiences. Results Six types of instances were identified: (1) making and enacting one’s own treatment decisions, (2) actively collaborating with staff, (3) self-determining one’s disclosure in groups, (4) making a commitment to treatment, (5) taking responsibility for one’s recovery, and (6) taking actions to avoid return to use. Conclusions Patient activation is multidimensional and plays a salient role in IOT experiences. IOT staff should engage patients as active participants in their treatment and encourage mutual goal-setting and shared-decision but should be aware that some approaches used too early in treatment may impede recovery.