Health professionals’ attitudes toward medications for opioid use disorder

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11 Scopus citations


Background: Research has shown that medications, especially opioid agonist treatments, are an effective way to treat opioid use disorder (OUD); however, negative attitudes held by health professionals contribute to their underutilization. Methods: A 23-year review of studies that examined health professionals’ attitudes toward medications for OUD (MOUD) was conducted to describe the current state of knowledge and to inform future research and interventions. Results: Studies examined attitudes toward the use of methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone among various types of health professionals: prescribers, non-prescribing clinicians, pharmacists, and administrators. The characteristics and findings of the included studies were reviewed and synthesized. Findings indicate that attitudes toward MOUD affect access and utilization by influencing prescribing practices, referrals, and adoption within programs. Exposure, knowledge, and treatment orientation were found to be important factors related to attitudes toward MOUD across multiple studies of various types of health professionals. Conclusions: To increase access and utilization, continued efforts are needed to increase positive attitudes toward MOUD among various types of health professionals. Findings indicate that interventions should seek to increase knowledge about MOUD and foster interprofessional communication related to MOUD, especially between prescribers and behavioral health providers.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)598-614
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


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