Providers percieved barriers to opioid treatment access in Franklin County, Ohio

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The Ohio State University

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Background: The amount of people suffering from Opioid Use Disorder continues to increase in Franklin County, Ohio. With this rise comes an increase in the need to provide access to appropriate treatment. The concept of access must be understood through multiple dimensions to accurately assess the barriers patients face when seeking treatment. These dimensions are acceptability, accommodation, affordability, accessibility, and availability. Methods: We developed and administered an online survey to employees in addiction services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. This survey asked about and assessed various perceptions as to why people in Franklin County may have difficulty locating and receiving OUD treatment. The survey was created based on previous questionnaires and surveys that measure healthcare access, along with definitions of five dimensions of access outlined in an article by Penchansky and Thomas. 22 Results: There were seven respondents, all employed through the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Of these respondents, four identified as Social Workers, two identified as ‘Other’, and one identified as a Peer Navigator. All but one respondent is a full-time employee. Participants were asked to rank the five dimensions of access based on what they perceived to be their patients’ most pressing barriers and the results were as follows: 1. Acceptability, 2. Accommodation, 3. Affordability, 4. Accessibility, 5. Availability. When asked about their patients’ health literacy, 71% of participants said most of their patients would be classified as having basic health literacy. Providers also stated there is a waiting list to receive treatment and people are likely to wait one to three weeks. Other notable findings were 85% of respondents feeling there are ‘definitely’ or ‘probably not’ a sufficient number of specialists in Central Ohio to treat the number of people seeking treatment for opioid use disorder. Conclusion: Overall, providers highlighted acceptability, accommodation, and affordability as the most important concerns among the patients they see. Answers to other survey questions, however, highlight issues mainly among accommodation and availability. The survey results call attention to multiple areas The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center could focus on to expand access for people seeking opioid use disorder treatment in Franklin County, Ohio.



Opioid use disorder, Acceptability, Accommodation, Availability, Accessibility, Affordability