• “Hey Doc, I think I have a Problem.” A Survey Investigating Self-Reported Physician Preparedness and Comfort Levels with Management and Counseling of Patients with a Substance Use Disorder

      Khan, Mohammad; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Heise, Will (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      Objectives: Given that substance use disorders are an increasing problem in the state of Arizona, physician preparedness to have these difficult conversations regarding substance use disorder disclosure is important. We investigated physician attitudes regarding preparedness to understand how physicians in the Greater Phoenix Area feel regarding this difficult conversation. Methods: We used Qualtrics software to design a survey that was administered to physicians via the local hospital listserve. This survey used a series of questions investigating physician preparedness on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most prepared. We also used a paper version of the survey at the 2018 Arizona Association of Family Practitioners winter conference to collect data. Our total response rate 135 surveys, with 112 online and 23 on paper. Of these, 103 were complete and analyzed. Results: Physician preparedness scores from 1-10 were averaged and compared. The overall preparedness score reported by physicians with the standard deviation for alcohol use disorder was 7.21 (1.98), for opioid use disorder was 6.75 (2.13), and for methamphetamine use disorder, the value was 5.47 (2.82). Buprenorphine prescribing privileges were associated with statistically significant increased scores in physician preparedness in all three cases (p-values of 0.01 or less). Physician ability to impact long term outcomes for a patient with drug use disorder was closely associated with how well-equipped the physician’s practice was with a correlation of 0.7 and a p value of <0.0001. Conclusions: Physicians self-reported the most preparedness to address alcohol use disorder, followed by opioid use disorder, and then methamphetamine use disorder. The buprenorphine prescribing privileges are very well associated with increased physician ability to interact with and improve patient outcomes.