A Qualitative Analysis of Hospitalist Perceptions of Self-Directed Discharge Among Inpatients with Opioid Use Disorder

Link to article at PubMed

Subst Use Misuse. 2023 Mar 29:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2023.2191698. Online ahead of print.


Background: People with opioid use disorder (OUD) have high rates of hospital admissions and high rates of patient-directed discharge, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. In this study, we aimed to understand hospitalist attitudes toward patients with OUD leaving before treatment completion and their willingness to collaborate with patients in future initiatives focused on improving the experience of hospital-based care for patients with OUD. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with hospitalists at two hospitals in Philadelphia, PA to explore their perspectives on social and structural factors that contribute to patients with OUD leaving the hospital before treatment completion. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded with NVivo using conventional content analysis. Results: Twenty-two hospitalists (64% female, 72.7% White, mean age 37) were interviewed between February and April 2021. Hospitalists listed the following as reasons for patients with OUD leaving before treatment completion: untimely and inadequate pain/withdrawal treatment, limited prescribing options in medications for OUD, restrictive visitor and smoking policies, and patient social and other obligations. Twenty out of 22 hospitalists were willing to engage in collaborative patient-centered care but noted institutional barriers. Conclusion: Hospitalists stated willingness to collaborate with patients on identifying and developing systems-level solutions that would allow for patient-centered care. In-hospital access to addiction consult service, staff with lived experience, and other culturally competent resources are key to reducing self-directed discharge, as is training to address stigma and reframe perceptions of appropriate dosing for pain and withdrawal. Hospitalists note a need for transitions to outpatient care after hospital discharge.

PMID:36987991 | DOI:10.1080/10826084.2023.2191698

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