Last updated on August 2019

An App to Aid in Transitioning Off Opioid Medication


Brief description of study

The investigators propose to develop a smartphone app (called BetterOFF) that will help patients manage opioid withdrawal during opioid medication taper and detoxification. The BetterOFF smartphone intervention will be a resource patients can access anytime and anywhere. If the BetterOFF intervention were to be effective in helping patients discontinue opioid medication, it could be integrated into the standard of care of office-based clinical practices, as well as substance use programs, thereby having a substantial public health impact.

Detailed Study Description

Many of the growing number of patients prescribed long-term opioid medication (for a variety of reasons including a history of illicit opioid use or management of chronic pain) will express an interest in discontinuing medication. However, many patients, physically dependent on opioids, fear the withdrawal symptoms that inevitably occur with opioid medication discontinuation and will experience a decrease in their self-efficacy for abstinence at the end of a taper. As a result, tapering is often slow and done hesitantly, and relapse rates after an opioid taper are high and associated with broad consequences, including significant negative physical, mental, and social problems. Even with optimal tapering protocols, patients need novel approaches to manage the discontinuation of opiate agonist treatment. Given this important gap in opioid treatment delivery, we propose to develop a theoretically-driven, smartphone-delivered intervention (Better Off app) to help patients effectively manage the experience of opioid medication discontinuation.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03077932

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Butler Hospital

Providence, RI United States
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