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Perceptions of injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) among people who regularly use opioids in Australia: findings from a cross-sectional study in three Australian cities


Nielsen, S and Sanfilippo, P and Belackova, V and Day, C and Silins, E and Lintzeris, N and Bruno, R and Grebely, J and Lancaster, K and Ali, R and Bell, J and Dietze, P and Degenhardt, L and Farrell, M and Larance, B, Perceptions of injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) among people who regularly use opioids in Australia: findings from a cross-sectional study in three Australian cities, Addiction ISSN 0965-2140 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Society for the Study of Addiction

DOI: doi:10.1111/add.15297


Background and aims Not all people experiencing opioid dependence benefit from oral opioid agonist treatment. The aim of this study was to examine perceptions of (supervised) injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) (described as ‘an opioid similar to heroin self‐injected at a clinic several times a day’) among people who regularly use opioids and determine how common iOAT eligibility criteria accord with interest in iOAT. Design Cross‐sectional survey Setting Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, Australia. Participants A total of 344 people (63% male) who use opioids regularly and had ever injected opioids, interviewed December 2017–March 2018. The mean age of participants was 41.5 years [standard deviation (SD) = 8.5]. Measurements Primary outcome measures were interest in iOAT, factors associated with interest and the proportion of participants who would be eligible using common criteria from trials and guidelines. We examined willingness to travel for iOAT, medication preferences and perspectives on whom should receive iOAT. Findings Overall, 53% of participants (n = 182) believed that iOAT would be a good treatment option for them. Participants who believed that iOAT was a good treatment option for them were more likely to be male [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.10–2.82], have used heroin in the past month (aOR = 6.03, 95% CI = 2.86–12.71), currently regularly inject opioids (aOR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.16–2.91) and have met ICD‐10 criteria for opioid dependence (aOR = 3.46, 95% CI = 1.65–7.24). Those interested in iOAT had commenced more treatment episodes (aOR =1.06, 95% CI = 1.00–1.12). Among those interested in iOAT (n = 182), 26% (n = 48) met common eligibility criteria for iOAT. Conclusions Interest in injectable opioid agonist treatment does not appear to be universal among people who regularly use opioids. Among study participants who expressed interest in injectable opioid agonist treatment, most did not meet common eligibility criteria.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:long acting buprenorphine, opioid dependence, consumer perceptions, heroin, injectable opioid agonist treatment, medication assisted treatment, opioid related disorders
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Substance abuse
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:142481
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-01-19
Last Modified:2021-05-10

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