Associations of retention on buprenorphine for opioid use disorder with patient characteristics and models of care in the primary care setting

Steffani R. Bailey, Jennifer A. Lucas, Heather Angier, Rebecca E. Cantone, Joan Fleishman, Brian Garvey, Deborah J. Cohen, Rebecca E. Rdesinski, Leah Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Buprenorphine, a medication for opioid use disorder (OUD), can be administered within primary care; however, little is known about characteristics associated with retention on buprenorphine in these settings. This study examines patient correlates of buprenorphine retention and whether an integrated, interdisciplinary treatment model (buprenorphine and behavioral health) is associated with higher odds of buprenorphine retention than a primarily medication-only treatment model. Methods: Electronic health record data from adult patients with an OUD, ≥1 buprenorphine order and ≥1 visit to either of two primary care clinics between 9/2/2014–6/27/2018 were extracted (N = 494 patients). Two research team members reviewed the medication start and stop dates for each buprenorphine order and classified as retained (≥6 months of orders) or not retained (<6 months of orders). Logistic regressions estimated the odds of retention on buprenorphine by 1) patient characteristics and 2) timing of patient's engagement in buprenorphine treatment (pre- or post-implementation of an integrated treatment model). Results: Of the study sample, 53% had ≥6 months of buprenorphine orders. Almost two times higher odds of retention were found among patients with ≥1 psychiatric comorbidity (versus none) and among those with buprenorphine orders in the post- versus pre-period. Conclusions: An integrated, interdisciplinary model of OUD treatment was associated with ≥6 months of buprenorphine orders among our study population. Continued research is needed in real-world primary care settings to understand the impact of OUD treatment models on patient outcomes. A more nuanced examination of the associations between psychiatric diagnoses and buprenorphine treatment retention is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108548
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Buprenorphine
  • Medication for opioid use disorder
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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