Perceptions of extended-release buprenorphine injections for opioid use disorder among people who regularly use opioids in Australia

Briony Larance, Louisa Degenhardt, Jason Grebely, Suzanne Nielsen, Raimondo Bruno, Paul Dietze, Kari Lancaster, Sarah Larney, Thomas Santo, Marian Shanahan, Sonja Memedovic, Robert Ali, Michael Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To examine perceptions of extended-release (XR) buprenorphine injections among people who regularly use opioids in Australia. Design: Cross-sectional survey prior to implementation. XR-buprenorphine was registered in Australia in November 2018. Setting: Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. Participants. A total of 402 people who regularly use opioids interviewed December 2017 to March 2018. Measurements: Primary outcome concerned the proportion of participants who believed XR-buprenorphine would be a good treatment option for them, preferred weekly versus monthly injections and perceived advantages/disadvantages of XR-buprenorphine. Independent variables concerned the demographic characteristics and features of current opioid agonist treatment (OAT; medication-type, dose, prescriber/dosing setting, unsupervised doses, out-of-pocket expenses and travel distance). Findings: Sixty-eight per cent [95% confidence interval (CI) = 63–73%] believed XR-buprenorphine was a good treatment option for them. They were more likely to report being younger [26–35 versus > 55 years; odds ratio (OR) = 3.16, 95% CI = 1.12–8.89; P = 0.029], being female (OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.04–2.69; P = 0.034), < 10 years school education (OR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.12–3.12; P = 0.016) and past-month heroin (OR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.15–2.85; P = 0.006) and methamphetamine use (OR = 1.90, 95% CI = 1.20–3.01; P = 0.006). Fifty-four per cent reported no preference for weekly versus monthly injections, 7% preferred weekly and 39% preferred monthly. Among OAT recipients (n = 255), believing XR-buprenorphine was a good treatment option was associated with shorter treatment episodes (1–2 versus ≥ 2 years; OR = 3.93, 95% CI = 1.26–12.22; P = 0.018), fewer unsupervised doses (≤ 8 doses past-month versus no take-aways; OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.27–0.93; P = 0.028) and longer travel distance (≥ 5 versus < 5 km; OR = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.20–3.65; P = 0.009). Sixty-nine per cent reported ‘no problems or concerns’ with potential differences in availability, flexibility and location of XR-buprenorphine. Conclusions: Among regular opioid users in Australia, perceptions of extended-release buprenorphine as a good treatment option are associated with being female, recent illicit drug use and factors relating to the (in)convenience of current opioid agonist treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAddiction
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Buprenorphine depot
  • buprenorphine injection
  • depot preparations
  • medication-assisted treatment
  • opioiduse disorder
  • patient preferences

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