A Shared Decision-making Tool to Prevent Substance Abuse: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial




Long, Ju
Yuan, Juntao Michael
Johnson, Ron Kim

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JMIR Publications


Background: Substance use disorder (SUD) affects over 20 million adults and costs over $700 billion annually in the United States. It is one the greatest health care challenges we face. Objective: This research project seeks to enhance the standard practice of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) through a mobile solution easily incorporated into primary care that will promote shared decision making and increase referral and adherence to specialty care through continued follow-up care. Methods: This research will conduct an Office of Management and Budget (OMB)–approved randomized controlled trial (RCT) in primary care and SUD specialty service providers. The RCT will recruit a total of 500 SUD patients. Recruited patients will be randomized into control and intervention arms. Both arms will take initial baseline and exit (30 days) surveys to evaluate self-reported substance use and specialty service utilization. The control arm patients will receive usual care. The intervention group patients will receive technology-enhanced SBIRT and a mobile follow-up program to track goals and substance use at home. The RCT tracks participants for 30 days after the primary care encounter. We will collect feedback from the patients during the 30 days and count the number of patients who use specialty care services in specialty care programs for tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse (both from self-reporting and from the service providers). Results: RCT and data collection are underway. We expect to report the data results in 2018. Conclusions: We expect that significantly more intervention group patients will receive specialty SUD care within 30 days following the SBIRT encounter at the primary care clinic compared to the control group. We also expect that the intervention group patients will report a greater reduction in substance use and a greater drop in Drug Abuse Screening Test and Addition Severity Index scores within 30 days.



substance abuse, SUD, primary care brief intervention, SBIRT


Long, J., Yuan, J. M., & Johnson, R. K. (2018). A shared decision-making tool to prevent substance abuse: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20(1).


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© 2018 Ju Long, Juntao Michael Yuan, Ron Kim Johnson.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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