Patient-Focused Evaluation Considerations for MOUD Programs
Considering individual needs is a critical element of patient-centered care, and can impact ultimate
program outcomes, making it important to determine appropriate evaluation measures when considering
program success. Patient goals and geography can impact how a program providing medication for opioid
use disorder (MOUD) measures success, particularly in rural communities. For example, a patient
facing transportation challenges may want to wean off medication eventually, while another patient
may have the goal of extended maintenance. In some rural areas, access to MOUD may also simply be
more limited than in others, due to any number of factors, increasing the need to include metrics related to tapering
off medication rather than focusing on maintenance as indicators of program success.
When thinking about measuring effectiveness of an MOUD program, it may be worthwhile to think about
how individual patients define success, or patient-important outcomes. A patient who
helps define their treatment goals and can then work with a program to meet those goals may be more
successful in treatment than a patient who is pushed to meet goals that may not be as personally
relevant. It may also be useful to consider how MOUD may impact functional outcomes such as those related
to memory, return to work, balance and more, keeping in mind that functional outcomes may also differ
from person to person.