In-Person Versus Telehealth Setting for the Delivery of Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Ecologically Valid Comparison Study.


=13.3; P<.01).

The virtual IOP (VIOP) study is a prospective longitudinal cohort design that follows adult (aged ≥18 years) patients who were discharged from IOP care for alcohol and substance use-related treatment at a large national SUD treatment provider between January 2020 and March 2021. Data were collected at baseline and up to 1 year after discharge from both in-person and VIOP services through phone- and web-based surveys to assess recent substance use and general functioning across several domains.

This study aims to analyze baseline differences in patient demographics and clinical characteristics across traditional and telehealth settings in a sample of participants (N=3642) who received intensive outpatient program (IOP) substance use treatment from January 2020 to March 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly transformed substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in the United States, with many web-based treatment services being used for this purpose. However, little is known about the long-term treatment effectiveness of SUD interventions delivered through digital technologies compared with in-person treatment, and even less is known about how patients, clinicians, and clinical characteristics may predict treatment outcomes.

The findings aim to deepen our understanding of SUD treatment efficacy across traditional and telehealth settings and its associated correlates and predictors of patient-centered outcomes. The results of this study will inform the effective development of data-driven benchmarks and protocols for routine outcome data practices in treatment settings.

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