Planning an Evaluation for MOUD Programs
The first step in planning an evaluation of a program providing medication for opioid use disorder
(MOUD) is to clarify the goals of the program. Program goals describe the desired long-term result of
a program. Typically, the main goal of an MOUD program is to help a patient achieve long-term
recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD). Other goals include:
Increasing quality of life for individuals with OUD
Lowering opioid use
Reducing overdose deaths
Increasing long-term survival
The goals of an MOUD program, as well as the specific activities implemented, will help determine the
selection of evaluation questions. Evaluation questions guide the type of evaluation being conducted,
such as a needs assessment, process evaluation, or outcome evaluation. They also guide the selection
of evaluation measures and what data must be collected.
Examples of evaluation questions for a rural MOUD program include:
How appropriate are the program processes compared to quality standards for MOUD programs?
Are MOUD program participants being reached as intended?
How well did the program work?
How does the program define patient progress?
How will the program measure patient success for OUD?
Ideally, a rural MOUD program should develop a written plan for evaluation prior to the start of the
program. An evaluation plan describes the goals of the program, connects the program goals to the
evaluation type, and defines measurable objectives and what data will be collected.
For more information, see Evaluation
Planning and Evaluation Design in
the Rural Community Health Toolkit.