UVA Health's app helps patients continue opioid recovery program

Charlottesville, Va.-based UVA Health's app, which offers patients struggling with opioid addiction easy access to providers and other forms of support, kept most patients engaged in their treatment recovery programs. 

Researchers piloted the app, called Hope, on 25 patients at high risk of disengaging from their treatment programs to see if the application could keep patients engaged with recovery services.

They found that 56 percent of the participants continued in engaging recovery care six months after they were enrolled in the app. Even those patients who stopped seeing care providers continued to use the application. 

"Our study suggests that patients possess the desire and motivation to stay engaged with providers and to remain in care," said Jackie Hodges, MD, an infectious disease fellow involved with the study. "Ultimately, though, low barrier models of care need to be expanded to support that desire and more effectively meet patients where they are. An app like Hope can facilitate that type of care, including coordination of needed social support services, like transportation."

Researchers say further testing is needed to ensure the application can be applied to large groups. 

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